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Coniophora Puteana Descriptive Essay


fungi: classification

Fungus classificationCommon fungi in buildings

Fungi in building can be grouped, according to their damage to materials and environments, into moldy fungi and decay fungi. Moldy fungi grow on surfaces and cause discoloration and the "moldy" smell of typical moist houses. They can grow in milder conditions (relative humidity as low as 75% and temperature between 5 to 45ˇăC). Common molds are gray mold (Botrytis), pin molds (Rhizopus sp.), gray and blue molds (Penicillium, Aspergillus).

Decay fungi can grow into materials and consume the organic matters including the microscopic structures of the material. Common decay fungi of wood and wood products include brown-rots, white-rots and soft-rots. Decay fungi normally requires very wet conditions and higher temperatures (95% relative humidity and temperature 20-40ˇăC).

The following table lists some fungi species of different categories related to building studies.

Table 2. Common types of moldy and decay fungi in buildings



Fungi group or species


Brown-rot fungi

Coniophora puteana (Cellar fungus), Fibriopoia vaillantii (Poria), Meruliporia incrassata, Fomitopsis palustris, Fomitopsis palustris, Antrodia carbonica, Gloeophyllum trabeum, Neolentinus lepideus, Postia placenta, Tapinella panuoides


White-rot fungi

Donkioporia expansa (Stringy Oak rot), Flammulina velutipes, Phanerocheate chrysosporium, Shizophyllum commune, and Trametes versicolor


Soft-rot fungi

Chaetomium globosum, Paccilomyces variolli, Phialocephala dimorphospora, Phialophola mutabilis, Scytalidium liqnicola;


Water conducting, i.e. dry-rot

Serpula lacrymans, Meruliporia (Poria) incrassata


Airborne pathogenic fungi

Aspergillus, Absidia, Rhizopus, Mucor, Cryptococcus neoformans, Histoplasma capsulatum, Blastomyces dermatitidis, Coccidioides immitis, Penicillium sp., Alternaria, Cladosporium, Helminthosporium, Stachybotris.


Fungi with most frequent spores in the outdoor air

Cladosporium, Aspergillus, Penicillium and Alternaria


Frequent indoor fungi

Aspergillus niger, Aspergillus favas, Chaetomium globosum, Oidium lactis, Phytophtora infestans, Fusarium caerluleum, Penicilium glaucum, Penicilium notatum, Penicilium brevicompactum, Penicilium expansus, Sphaerrolitis, Lauconostoc, Phoma Exigue Foevata.,


Fungi on masonry

Cladosporium, Phoma, Alternaria and Aureobasidium, (grow on the deposits of dead algae and other organic matter)


Fungi on paints

Pullularia pullulans (blue stain on paint coat, break down of the oil resins)


Indoor mold

Common molds are gray mold (Botrytis), pin molds (Rhizopus sp.), gray and blue molds (Penicillium, Aspergillus).

Sources: Croan, 1997b; Green et al., 1997; Douglas and Stirling, 1997; Fischer et al., 1999; Gornes, 1995; Richardson, 1995

Mycology classification of fungi

Molds belong to the Fungi Kingdom, which includes also yeast, mildews, mushrooms and others (Margulis and Schwartz, 1988).

Classification schemes for fungi used by mycologists have been under continued development and adaptation with the advance in the field. Information on detailed classification can be found in Hawksworth et al. (1994), Miller and Farr (1990), and Kendrick (1992).

Levels of biological classification within fungus Kingdom: Kingdom, Phylum (Division), Subdivision, Class Order, Family, and Species.

Fungus Kingdom is classified at several levels: Division, subdivision, class, order, family and finally species (Figure 7). In publications related to buildings, only the species and subdivision are mentioned, such as Aspergillus species in Ascomycotina or Penicillium in Basidiomycotina. Most of the building molds and fungi belong to Ascomycotina Basidiomycotina and Deuteromycotina (Fungi Imperfecti) subdivisions, all of which belong to division Amastigomycota (fungi whose spores do not swim).

See References for mold and fungi studies for a list of the related references.

[Source: J. Rao, 1999]

Related links

fungi overview

fungi and its place in nature

fungi: classificattion

fungi: life cycle of

fungi: health effect

molds as visible part of fungi

Encyclopeadia Britannica reference of fungi

Encyclopeadia Britannica definitions related to fungi

Mycotoxins in water damaged buildings

Fungus, mold: web sites

Mycology and Building Mycology

Essay: References for mold and fungi studies

Source: J. Rao 1999


Taxonomic Classification and Nomenclature

Evolution of Scientific classification

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