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Phoma Species Information

The genus Phoma is a cosmopolitan fungus with a worldwide distribution

Phoma Scientific Information

Although the genus Phoma is a member of the deuteromycotina (fungi that do not reproduce sexually and therefore have no genetic exchange) the are not hyphomycetes as the majority of the fungi encountered in indoor air studies. Phoma produce their conidia (spores) in enclosed structures called pycnidia. Pycnidia generally have an apical ostiole (opening) through which the conidia escape. The pycnidia in Phoma are round to pyriform and are brown to black in color. The conidia are unicellular, hyaline and ellipsoidal to cylindrical.

Phoma Growth Characteristics

The species are isolated from soil and associated plants (particularly potatoes. Produces pink an purple spots on painted walls. It may have antigens which cross react with those of Alternaria sp. It will grow on butter, paint cement and rubber. Phoma species can range from slow to rapidly growing, and have a powdery to velvety texture. The colony color of Phoma varies with species but are commonly olive green.

Where is Phoma found?

frequently isolated from soil and plants. Phoma species are common plant pathogens causing disease in crucifers, celery, beets, tomatoes and peppers. Indoors Phoma species are secondary colonizers of building materials.

Is Phoma Allergenic?

Phoma is a common indoor air allergen. It is similar to the early stages of growth of Chaetomium sp.

Toxins Produced by Phoma

Mycotoxins identified from Phoma include tenuazonic acid that has been implicated in onyalai (a blood disease occurring in South Africa.

Phoma Health Effects

It may cause phaeohyphomycosis a systematic or subcutaneous disease.

Phoma species rarely cause infection in humans or animals. Occasionally Phoma species may infect humans, most commonly causing cutaneous or subcutaneous infections.

Is Phoma a "black mold"


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