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Cladosporium sp.

Mitosporic fungus. Hyphomycetes. Teleomorphs (sexual state): Mycosphaerella, Venturia (Ascomycetes).

Cladosporium microphoto



Approx. 28-40 species. One of the most common genera, worldwide.

Where Found

Soil of many different types, plant litter, plant pathogen, leaf surfaces, old or decayed plants.

Mode of Dissemination

Dry spore (formed in very fragile chains, easily dispersed).

Growth Indoors

Widespread, on many substrates, including textiles, wood, moist window sills. Grows at 0°C, and so is associated with refrigerated foods.
Aw=0.85-0.88 (minimum for various species).

Industrial Uses

C. herbarum produces enzymes which are used in the transformation of steroid intermediates such as pregnenolone and progesterone, biologically important hormones used in the industrial production of oral contraceptives.

Other Comments

G.S. deHoog & J. Guarro have placed species associated with human infection in a new genus Cladophialophora, i.e. Cladophialophora carrionii, C. bantiana. Older medical texts refer to this fungus by its former name Hormodendron species.

Potential Health Effects


Common and important allergen.
Type I allergies (hay fever, asthma).
Type III hypersensitivity pneumonitis: Hot tub lung, Moldy wall hypersensitivity.

Potential Opportunist or Pathogen

Generally, non-pathogenic. One species, Cladosporium carrionii, is an agent of chromoblastomycosis in subtropical and tropical regions (grows at 35-37°C).

Potential Toxin Production

Cladosporin, emodin.
(Neither are highly toxic.)

Laboratory Notes

Growth/Culture Characterisics

Grows on all general fungal media. Some species sporulate better than others, and some may need cycles of light in order to produce spores.

Spore Trap Recognition

Distinctive, with wide variation in size and shape. Spores with dark attachment scars and some olive to brown pigmentation are identified as Cladosporium.

Tape Lift Recognition

Distinctive, readily identifiable on tape lifts.