CAB International (CABI)

CAB International (CABI)

Research Infrastructure affiliation: MIRRI

Location: Centres in 12 Countries:
A presence in 21 countries and owned by 48:

Website address:

Local Access Officer: Dr. David Smith (



CABI is an international not-for-profit organization with the mission to improve people’s lives by providing information and applying scientific expertise to solve problems in agriculture and the environment. This is achieved through knowledge sharing and the application of scientific research to improve global food security and safeguard the environment. CABI delivers benefits to farmers around the world by helping them grow more and lose less of what they produce. CABI is a leading global publisher producing key scientific publications, including world renowned CAB Abstracts, Global Health, Compendia, books, eBooks and full text electronic resources. CABI works in global agricultural development to support farming communities, aiding them as they battle with poor soil, invasive species, and pests and diseases, to improve their livelihoods. The CABI Plantwise global programme helps farmers lose less of what they grow. Working with countries networks of plant clinics are established and supported, run by trained plant doctors, where farmers can find practical plant health advice and back this up with a knowledge bank of plant health resources. CABI is a provider of microbial services; specializing in supply of authenticated microbial strains, microbial identification and verification, providing professional microbiology services in support of industry, academia and agriculture.


Through MIRRI and EMBRIC CABI makes available its Microbial and Molecular Services (MMS). TA users have access not only to the nineteen staff in MMS but to the relevant CABI information and application scientists. CABI holds a collection of over 28,000 living strains including the UK National Collection of Fungus Cultures. Taxonomically it covers all fungal groups but the basidiomycota and yeasts to a lesser extent with over 6,000 species isolated from environmental and agricultural systems worldwide. The culture collection is an International Depository Authority (IDA) within the Budapest Treaty (1977). Established over 100 years ago it has amassed a wealth of information and capabilities in microbiology, from isolation, growth and preservation of microorganisms to its role in agriculture and its application. Access is offered to the UK, Egham, Surrey based site but if data management and analysis is involved to CABI informaticians at the UK, Wallingford site. CABI is the only UK laboratory accredited by UKAS for on-site mould-contamination testing. The detection and testing service allows the discovery of the kind of mould is growing in the home, workplace, or on a product.


CABI supplies authenticated reference, type and test strains to businesses and research establishments. We maintain ISO846, BS2011 Part II j and Mil Std 810G test strains from the European, the UK and US testing standards, and hold many other test and challenge strains. We hold production strains for enzymes, metabolites, active biomolecules and novel products. CABI’s range of organisms includes:

  • filamentous fungi and yeasts
  • plant pathogenic bacteria
  • biocontrol agents belonging to these groups.

CABI uses a combination of morphology and molecular sequencing and has many projects running in applied microbiology delivering microbiological solutions to environmental and agricultural problems for example classical biocontrol and biopesticide development and application. CABI can provide access to and undertake projects using the following molecular technologies:

  • Sequence analysis (Sanger)
  • Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS) – metagenomics of the environment; enabling us to understand interactions of microbe and host; weed biogeorgraphy, trait variation etc.
  • Matrix-Assisted Laser-Desorption and Ionization Time-Of-Flight mass spectroscopy (MALDI-TOF MS).

Support offered

TA-users have access to lab-space, to standard disposables and administrative and logistic support and to the services in the units listed above, including troubleshooting with, and basic training in, the use of platforms.