Penicillium expansum strain isolated from indoor building material was able to grow on gypsum board and emitted guttation droplets containing chaetoglobosins and communesins A, B and D

M. J. Salo*, T. Marik, R. Mikkola, M. A. Andersson, L. Kredics, H. Salonen, J. Kurnitski

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Aims Emission of toxic metabolites in guttation droplets of common indoor fungi is not well documented. The aims of this study were (i) to compare mycotoxins in biomass and guttation droplets from indoor fungi from a building following health complaints among occupants, (ii) to identify the most toxic strain and to test if mycotoxins in guttation liquids migrated trough air and (iii) to test if toxigenic Penicillium expansum strains grew on gypsum board. Methods and Results Biomass suspensions and guttation droplets from individual fungal colonies representing Aspergillus, Chaetomium, Penicillium, Stachybotrys and Paecilomyces were screened toxic to mammalian cells. The most toxic strain, RcP61 (CBS 145620), was identified as Pen. expansum Link by sequence analysis of the ITS region and a calmodulin gene fragment, and confirmed by the Westerdijk Institute based on ITS and beta-tubulin sequences. The strain was isolated from a cork liner, was able to grow on gypsum board and to produce toxic substances in biomass extracts and guttation droplets inhibiting proliferation of somatic cells (PK-15, MNA, FL) in up to 20 000-fold dilutions. Toxic compounds in biomass extracts and/or guttation droplets were determined by HPLC and LC-MS. Strain RcP61 produced communesins A, B and D, and chaetoglobosins in guttation droplets (the liquid emitted from them) and biomass extracts. The toxins of the guttation droplets migrated c. 1 cm through air and condensed on a cool surface. Conclusions The mycotoxin-containing guttation liquids emitted by Pen. expansum grown on laboratory medium exhibited airborne migration and were >100 times more toxic in bioassays than guttation droplets produced by indoor isolates of the genera Aspergillus, Chaetomium, Stachybotrys and Paecilomyces. Significance and Impact of the Study Toxic exudates produced by Pen. expansum containing communesins A, B and D, and chaetoglobosins were transferable by air. This may represent a novel mechanism of mycotoxin dispersal in indoor environment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1135-1147
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Applied Microbiology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2019
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Cytotoxicity
  • fungal contamination
  • mycotoxins
  • Penicillium
  • toxins
  • MOLD
  • LINK
  • SOIL

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