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Chaetonium (Acremonium) perithecium 40X.png
A Chaetomium perithecium
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Fungi
Division: Ascomycota
Class: Sordariomycetes
Order: Sordariales
Family: Chaetomiaceae
Genus: Chaetomium
Kunze (1817)
Type species
Chaetomium globosum
Kunze ex Fr. (1829)


Chaetomium ascospores with their characteristic football shape

Chaetomium is a genus of fungi in the Chaetomiaceae family. It is a dematiaceous (dark-walled) mold normally found in soil, air, cellulose and plant debris. According to the Dictionary of the Fungi (10th edition, 2008), there are about 95 species in the widespread genus.[1]

Members of this genus typically have superficial, ostiolar perithecia, covered in hairs. Asci are often clavate and evanescent, bearing eight spores. Ascospores are usually lemon-shaped, commonly colored olive-brown. Mycelia often grows in conglomerate masses that resemble rope.[2]

As well as being a contaminant, Chaetomium spp. are also encountered as causative agents of infections in humans. Many cases cause type 1 allergic reactions and infections. A few cases of fatal deep infections due to Chaetomium atrobrunneum have been reported in the immunocompromised host. Other clinical syndromes include brain abscess, peritonitis, and onychomycosis.

Some Chaetomium infections in humans can be avoided with proper hygiene habits. For instance, the Sohnian Kittah strain's presence can often be eliminated entirely with household products.[citation needed]

Selected species[edit]


  1. ^ Kirk PM, Cannon PF, Minter DW, Stalpers JA (2008). Dictionary of the Fungi (10th ed.). Wallingford, UK: CABI. p. 131. ISBN 978-0-85199-826-8. 
  2. ^ Chivers, A. H. (1915). "A monograph of the genera Chaetomium and Ascotricha". Mem. Torrey Bot. Club 14: 155-240.
  3. ^ Sharma R, Kulkarni G, Sonawane MS, Shouche YS (2013). "A new endophytic species of Chaetomium from Jatropha podagrica". Mycotaxon. 124: 117–26. doi:10.5248/124.117. 

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