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Mucor sp.




Approx. 50 species.

Where Found

Organic matter, dung, soil.

Mode of Dissemination

Rain splash except for M. plumbeus, which is commonly dry and disseminated by wind.

Growth Indoors

Found on a variety of substrates, including leftover food, soft fruits, and juices.
Aw=0.90-0.94 (minimum for various species).

Industrial Uses

Mucor produces proteolytic enzymes used in cheese production.

Other Comments


Potential Health Effects


Type I allergies (hay fever, asthma).
Type III hypersensitivity pneumonitis.

Potential Opportunist or Pathogen

Rare infections in severely debilitated patients.

Potential Toxin Production

Not known.
Old cultures produce a substance which inhibits further growth and promotes autolysis of the culture.

Laboratory Notes

Growth/Culture Characterisics

Grows well on general fungal media, and frequently fills the petri dish. Mucor species may overgrow and inhibit other fungi present.

Spore Trap Recognition

Round colorless spores, variable in size, sometimes angular. Very difficult to identify in any definitive way, and most probably called "other colorless." Some species of the related genus Rhizopus do have distinctive angular spores with striations. Counts of "Zygomycetes" on spore trap reports are most probably these particular Rhizopus species.

Tape Lift Recognition

The presence of a zygomycete is easily noted on tape lifts, although identification to genus may be more difficult. Recognition depends on the condition of the sporulating structures of the particular zygomycete present.