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The International Centre of Microbial Resources (CIRM), yeast collection in Grignon. © INRA, MAITRE Christophe

Genetic and biological resources

Environmental resources

Environmental biological resources include soil samples, microbial consortia and animals (vertebrates and invertebrates) that populate natural ecosystems, or that live as parasites of animals or plants. These collections and Biological Resource Centres (BRCs) are grouped together in the BRC4Env network.

Updated on 05/30/2018
Published on 02/20/2018

The BRC4Env network is the Environmental Resources Pillar of the French national Agricultural Resources for Research infrastructure (RARe). The primary goal of BRC4Env is to increase the visibility, in France and Europe, of the biological resources stored in constituent Biological Resource Centres (BRCs), and to make them readily available to a broad community of researchers, from agricultural to life and environmental sciences. The added value it brings stems from sharing skills, harmonising practices, providing support for research projects, and a forthcoming single-entry web portal to facilitate access to documented samples and raise awareness of the different regulatory policies of partners (research bodies) including laws that may vary depending on the nature of biological resources. Thus, BRC4Env seeks to provide operational support to its members in light of the implementation of the Nagoya protocol.

Samples of the genomic and biological resources of BRC4Env are taken from soils, sediments, waters, agricultural ecosystems, forest and natural ecosystems, and conserved in organised collections. They include microbial consortia and animal resources (invertebrates and vertebrates). BRC4Env currently consists of some 15 biological collections. The Pillar, as well as the three collections (the Genetic Resource Centre for Soils of the GenoSol platform; the CRB “Egg Parasitoids Collection” - EP-Coll; and the collection of fish scales and tissue - Colisa) have been labelled “CRB” by GIS IBiSA. BRC4Env also includes analytical platforms (in bio-chemistry, chemistry, genomics and imaging) to characterise samples, and two national networks for access to ecosystems.

The CRB BRC4Env network, based in Versailles, manages biological, genomic and environmental resources spread out in three BRCs containing 14 000 DNA extracts from soils, 200 000 samples of tissue or scales from freshwater fish, 130 strains of parasitoid insects, and nine collections.

Environmental Genetic Resources: location of INRA’s collections. © INRA, INRA, Véronique Gavalda
Environmental Genetic Resources: location of INRA’s collections © INRA, INRA, Véronique Gavalda

Scientific contact(s):

  • Christian Mougin Functional Ecology and Ecotoxicology of Agroecosystems (ECOSYS) Joint Research Unit
Associated Division(s):
Plant Health and Environment, Animal Health , Environment and Agronomy, Forest, Grassland and Freshwater Ecology