Mitosporic fungus. Hyphomycetes. Teleomorphs (sexual state): Mycosphaerella, Venturia (Ascomycetes).
Approx. 28-40 species. One of the most common genera, worldwide.
Soil of many different types, plant litter, plant pathogen, leaf surfaces, old or decayed plants.
Dry spore (formed in very fragile chains, easily dispersed).
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).
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.
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.
Common and important allergen.
Type I allergies (hay fever, asthma).
Type III hypersensitivity pneumonitis: Hot tub lung, Moldy wall hypersensitivity.
Generally, non-pathogenic. One species, Cladosporium carrionii, is an agent of chromoblastomycosis in subtropical and tropical regions (grows at 35-37°C).
(Neither are highly toxic.)
Grows on all general fungal media. Some species sporulate better than others, and some may need cycles of light in order to produce spores.
Distinctive, with wide variation in size and shape. Spores with dark attachment scars and some olive to brown pigmentation are identified as Cladosporium.
Distinctive, readily identifiable on tape lifts.