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Chaetomium sp.


Chaetomium microphoto



Approx. 81 species.

Where Found

Soil, seeds, cellulose substrates, dung, woody and straw materials.

Mode of Dissemination

Spores are formed inside fruiting bodies. Spores are forced out an opening and spread by wind, insects, water splash.

Growth Indoors

Widespread, cellulolytic, very commonly found on damp sheetrock paper.

Industrial Uses

Used in textile testing and the production of cellulase.

Other Comments


Potential Health Effects


Not well studied.
Type I allergies (hay fever, asthma).

Potential Opportunist or Pathogen

Uncommon agent of onychomycosis (nail infection).

Potential Toxin Production

Chaetomin. Chaetomium globosum produces chaetoglobosins. Sterigmatocystin is produced by rare species. Other compounds produced (which may not be mycotoxins in the strict sense) include a variety of mutagens.

Laboratory Notes

Growth/Culture Characterisics

Grows and sporulates on general fungal media, may need 8-20 days for fruiting body production and sporulation.

Spore Trap Recognition

Distinctive. Chaetomium globosum has small brown "lemon" or "football-shaped" ascospores.

Tape Lift Recognition

Distinctive and readily identifiable on tape lifts.