Dr. Norman Schenck

This collection was the brainchild of Dr. Norman Schenck. A professor of plant pathology at the University of Florida and a long-time mycorrhizologist, Dr. Schenck had a vision to create a living culture collection to preserve valuable germplasm and make this germplasm available to researchers and the public. In 1985, he received funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and created the International Culture Collection of VA Mycorrhizal Fungi (INVAM). He served as curator of the collection for five years until his retirement in 1990.

Upon Dr. Schenck’s retirement, there were 182 stocks in the collection, and they were moved to West Virginia University and merged with a local collection maintained by Joe Morton. INVAM continued to be funded through the Division of Biological Infrastructure of the National Science Foundation because it is a living stock collection. In recent years, all collections, whether living or object-based, have been merged into this program which is now called Collections in Support of Biological Research.

In 2021, NSF funded a three-year transition period for the collection to be moved from West Virginia University to the University of Kansas under the direction of Dr. James Bever and Dr. Peggy Schultz in order to maintain and expand the collection.

Mission Statement

“To acquire, propagate, characterize, and maintain germplasm of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in living cultures for preservation and distribution to any person or institution.”

Content in this section includes all of the various aspects of how the collection is organized and managed at the University of Kansas, as well as some information on management during its 30+ year tenure at WVU.