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Rhizopus sp.

Distribution Where Found Mode of Dissemination
Approx. 12 species.
Forest and cultivated soils, decaying fruits and vegetables, animal dung and compost; a parasitic plant pathogen on potato, cotton and various fruits. Dry spore.
Allergen Potential Opportunist or Pathogen Potential Toxin Production
Type I allergies (hay fever, asthma).
Type III hypersensitivity pneumonitis: Paprika splitter's lung, Wood trimmer's lung.
"Sawmill lung" (an extrinsic allergic alveolitis) has been described from Swedish sawmills.
Rhizopus is the principal cause of zygomycosis, which occurs primarily in patients suffering from diabetic ketoacidosis (rhinocerebral disease), malnutrition, severe burns, or who are immunocompromised. Not known.
Growth Indoors Industrial Uses Other Comments
Found on a variety of substrates. Common on spoiling food; less common on indoor environmental surfaces.
Aw=0.93 (R. stolonifera).
Used in cheese production, fermentation of various foods, for the production of alcohol and organic acids, and in paper production. None.
Characteristics: Growth/Culture Notes on Spore Trap Recognition Notes on Tape Lift Recognition
Grows well on general fungal media; frequently fills the petri dish. Rhizopus species may overgrow and inhibit other fungi. Some structures are visible to the naked eye, i.e. sporangia appear macroscopically as black dots in the midst of white, cottony mycelia. Distinctive, identifiable on spore trap slides. Some species produce spores which are angular and faintly pigmented with striations. The presence of zygomycetes is easily noted on tape lifts. Rhizopus is distinctive, readily identifiable, if rhizoids and all sporulating structures are clearly visible.
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