History of the Centraalbureau voor Schimmelcultures
was established in 1904 as the foundation of a collection of fungal and algal
cultures at the 11th International Botanical Congress at Vienna. For some time
between the two world wars CBS was financially supported by the Royal
Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (RNAAS) and received a fixed annual sum
of 4000 guilders. In 1945 this sum was increased to 6000 and in 1952 to 8000
guilders. From 1953 onwards RNAAS covered all deficits and salaries were
correlated with comparable university posts. Since 1968 CBS became an
institution of the RNAAS.
Went who was responsible for founding the culture colection asked in 1907 prof.
Johanna Westerdijk as director of the institute. Miss A.L. van Beverwijk
succeeded Johanna Westerdijk as director of CBS in 1959. The donation in 1934
from mr. O. van Vloten, a tea planter in the Dutch Indies who was keenly
interested in fungi, allowed CBS to start building her own laboratory in 1962.
This was accomplished at the instigation of ms A.L. van Beverwijk who strove to
obtain separate accommodation and become entirely independent from the
Phytopathological Laboratory "WCS". CBS moved to the new building in 1964. Van
Beverwijk did not live to enjoy the fulfillment of her wish. She was succeeded
by J.A. von Arx who directed the institute from 1963 on. The number of staff
member could be increased and consequently more time could be devoted to
scientific research. Each staff member became responsible for the investigation
of one or more, incompletely known or poorly defined groups of fungi.
In 1921 A.J. Kluyver (1888-1956) succeeded M.W. Beijerink as a professor of
microbiology at the Technical University of Delft. He was interested in the
yeasts that were known to be of importance to technical microbiology and took
over the CBS yeast collection in 1922. In return for 60 yeast cultures he
offered 2000 culture tubes and 100 Erlenmeyer flasks. The yeast research in
Delft has developed quite separately from the classical morphological methods
used for filamentous fungi. The yeast taxonomy was based mainly on the
fermentation and assimilation of certain carbon compounds. This way of
classifying yeasts is now generally known as the "Dutch School". J. Lodder was a
member of the yeast division from 1932-1938 and published a revision of the
imperfect (non ascosporogenous) yeasts in cooperation with H.A. Diddens. In 1946
N.J.W. Kreger-van Rij who joined the yeast department in 1946, compiled the
monograph "The yeasts, a taxonomic study" in cooperation with J. Lodder in 1952.
This book, many times reprinted and revised, is still the major text book in
In December 2000 the CBS moved to Utrecht where it is accommodated in the
completely renovated building, previously occupied by the Hubrecht Laboratory
(NIOB), another institute of the Royal Academy of Arts and Sciences. The
complete staff and collection of the yeast department also joined the staff and
the collection of Baarn. The facilities in Utrecht allow a firm base for growth
and fruitful cooperation between CBS, the Hubrecht laboratory and the University
of Utrecht. In August 2002 dr. Pedro Crous was appointed director to lead the
institute in a challenging research future.