Pycnidial Formers

Characteristics: No information is available regarding health effects, or toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied.

Description: Pycnidia are sac-like fruiting bodies (asexual) formed by the many of the Coelomycetes. Spores are commonly formed in sticky masses which ooze out an ostiole (opening). These spores are not readily disseminated by air currents, although they do constitute a small proportion of the air spora. Spores may also be dry, but these forms are less common. The identification of many of the Coelomycetes is difficult because internal sporulating structures are hidden. Some very common genera such as Phoma may be identified on tape lift and tease mounts from bulk samples, and in the air by culturable (Andersen) sampling. Many times, however, Coelomycetes are reported simply as “pycnidial former, ID unknown.” Pycnidial fungi are ubiquitous, and are commonly found and recovered from the cultivated and uncultivated soil of different types, leaf litter and other organic debris from both natural and manufactured sources, from saline- and fresh-water, on other fungi and lichens, and as parasites of plants, vertebrates and insects.


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