Unicellular eukaryotes collection

The Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle’s Unicellular Eukaryotes collection is made up of live parasitic and "free-living" protist collections, and protist DNA collections.


The protist collections consist of slide and document collections, and live and DNA collections. The protists in these collections are "free-living" or parasitic protists, mainly Ciliates, Flagellates (Kinetoplastids, Trichomonads and Diplomonads) and Apicomplexans, but also other groups of protists (Foraminifera, Heliozoa, Amoeba, etc.).

The live and DNA collections are made up of:

  • a live collection of parasitic or free-living protists, either cryopreserved (-80°C and liquid nitrogen) or cultured (Unicellular Eukaryote Collection),

  • a DNA collection derived from micro-organisms, either cultured or sampled from the environment.

These collections are used for research purposes (biology, evolutionary history, etc.). These collections are regularly enriched by deposits and donations of protistologists’ collections, and by isolation, culturing and cryopreservation, where possible, of protists from various environments (free-living soil, freshwater and marine protists, commensal protists and animal parasites).


CC BY-NC-SA MNHN - M. Dellinger

Amoeba proteus

CC BY-NC-SA MNHN - M. Dellinger


CC BY-NC-SA MNHN - M. Dellinger


CC BY-NC-SA MNHN - M. Dellinger
Haplomyxa saranae au microscope

Haplomyxa saranae

CC BY-NC-SA MNHN - M. Dellinger

Leptomonas costaricensis

CC BY-NC-SA MNHN - P. Grellier

Toxoplasma gondii

CC BY-NC-SA MNHN - P. Grellier


The live collections provide reference or environmental strains that are used in fundamental research (study models for biological questions) and in applied research (pathogenic protists with an impact on veterinarian or human health, e.g. Plasmodium, a malaria agent,  and trypanosomes , inducing sleeping sickness and Chagas’ disease). The DNA collections enable us to find answers to phylogenetic questions.


Marc Dellinger, curator of the collection Unicellular Eukaryotes ("free-living" protists)
marc.dellinger [@] mnhn.fr
Tel. +33 1 40 79 37 30

Delphine Depoix, curator of the collection Unicellular Eukaryotes (parasitic protists)
delphine.depoix [@] mnhn.fr
Tel. +33 1 40 79 35 11

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