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A Microbial Biorealm page on the genus Cladosporium



Higher order taxa

Eukaryota; Fungi/Metazoa group; Fungi; Ascomycota; Pezizomycotina; Dothideomycetes et Chaetothyriomycetes incertae sedis; Mycosphaerellaceae; mitosporic Mycosphaerellaceae


Cladosporium elatum, Cl. Herbarum, Cl. Sphaerospermum, and Cl. cladosporioides

Description and significance

Cladosporium is found in the phylum Ascomycota. There are over 500 different species. Cladosporium is a pigmented mold most often found to be airborne or on rotten organic matter. It is found both indoors and outdoors. Colonies range from a dark green to black color. They are relatively slow-growing. The dark spores are normally one to two celled and occur in long, branching chains that arise from a dark conidiophore. The youngest spores are those found at the top of the chain. The most effective way to distinguish the genus is by the prominent scars on the spores where the adjacent spores were attached. Some species may be resistant to certain types of treated lumber.

Genome structure

There has not been any research done to determine the genome sequence of any Cladosporium spp.

Cell structure and metabolism

The results of a study done by San-Blas Gioconda showed that the cell walls of Cladosporium were composed mainly of galactose, hexoses, and some mannose. However, chitin and melanin were not found in the cell structure.


Cladosporium is the most common identified outdoor fungus. However their numbers greatly reduced in the winterand increase greatly in the summer. Cladosporium is also found indoors but at lower concentrations. Indoor Cladosporium species may be different than the species identified outdoors. It is commonly found on the surface of fiberglass duct liner in the interior of supply ducts. A wide variety of plants are food sources for this fungus. It is found on dead plants, woody plants, food, straw, soil, paint and textiles. Produces greater than 10 antigens. Antigens in commercial extracts are of variable quality and may degrade within weeks of preparation.


Exposure to the spores of this fungus is known to cause respiratory allergies. Symptoms include hypersensitivity pneumonitis , asthma, and allergic rhinitis. It causes severe infections when it comes in contact with small cuts or abrasions in the skin. Other aligments include sinusitis, skin lesions, nail fungus, and keratitis. Extended exposure to spores may lead to a suppression of the immune system which allows other opportunistic viruses and bacteria to infect the host.

Current Research

The scientists at Wageningen Univeristy are currently doing work on trying to study the interactions between Cladosporium fulvum and tomato plants. They are emphasizing on the biochemical, molecular, and genetic aspects the tomato plant undergoes when exposed to C. fulvum.


Bischoff,J. Domrachev, M., Federhen, S. Hotton, C. Leipe, D. Soussov, V. Sternberg, R. Turner, S. NCBI. retrieved November 10, 2006 from [1]

"Cladosporium spp." (2006) Doctor Fungus. Retrieved November 10, 2006 from [2]

Gioconda, San-Blas et. al.“Cladosporium carrionii and Hormoconis resinae (C. resinae): Cell Wall and Melanin Studie” Current Microbiology. Retrieved November [3]

Levetin, E. (2003) Cladosporium. Retrieved December 1, 2006 from [4]

Lillard-Roberts, S. (2004) Cladosporium. Retrieved November 17, 2006 from [5]

Wageningen University. (2005)The Cladosporium Fulvum Group. Retrieved December 1, 2006 from [6]

Edited by William Gastiger, Persida Kastrati and Jessica Martins, students of Dr. Kirk Bartholomew