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Phoma sp.

Mitosporic fungus. Coelomycetes. Teleomorph (sexual state): Pleospora (Ascomycete).



Approx. 80 species.

Where Found

Plant material, soil, and as a fruit parasite.

Mode of Dissemination

Wind (when dried out).

Growth Indoors

Frequently found on walls, ceiling tiles, on the reverse side of linoleum. Also found on cement, paint, paper, wood, wool, and foods such as rice and butter. May have little effect on the indoor air because the spores are not readily disseminated by air currents.

Industrial Uses

Not known.

Other Comments

Parasitic on plants.

Potential Health Effects


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

Potential Opportunist or Pathogen

Mycotic keratitis, rare skin infection, and a few cases of subcutaneous phaeohyphomycosis reported.

Potential Toxin Production

Not known.

Laboratory Notes

Growth/Culture Characterisics

Grows well on general fungal media. Very small spores formed in pycnidia (asexual fruiting bodies). Sticky masses of spores ooze out of the ostiole (opening) in the pycnidia.

Spore Trap Recognition

Not recognizable on spore trap slides.

Tape Lift Recognition

Identifiable on tape lifts if the spores and entire fruiting body are present. Pycnidia, however, do not always lift well on tape sampling; masses of very small spores found within a mat of fungal mycelia is often indicative of Phoma.