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Scientific classification Edit this classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Fungi
Division: Ascomycota
Class: Dothideomycetes
Order: Capnodiales
Family: Davidiellaceae
Genus: Cladosporium
Link (1816)
Type species
Cladosporium herbarum
(Pers.) Link (1816)
  • Acrosporella Riedl & Ershad (1977)
  • Azosma Corda (1831)
  • Didymotrichum Bonord. (1851)
  • Heterosporium Klotzsch ex Cooke (1877)
  • Hormodendrum Bonord. (1851)
  • Mydonosporium Corda (1833)
  • Myxocladium Corda (1837)
  • Polyrhizium Giard (1889)
  • Spadicesporium V.N.Boriss. & Dvoïnos (1982)
  • Sporocladium Chevall. (1826)

Cladosporium is a genus of fungi including some of the most common indoor and outdoor molds. Some species are endophytes[2] or plant pathogens, while others parasitize fungi.


Species produce olive-green to brown or black colonies, and have dark-pigmented conidia that are formed in simple or branching chains. Many species of Cladosporium are commonly found on living and dead plant material. Including Sunflowers.[3] The spores are wind-dispersed and they are often extremely abundant in outdoor air. Indoors Cladosporium species may grow on surfaces when moisture is present.

Cladosporium fulvum, cause of tomato leaf mould, has been an important genetic model, in that the genetics of host resistance are understood.[4] In the 1960s, it was estimated that the genus Cladosporium contained around 500 plant-pathogenic and saprotrophic species,[5] but this number has since been increased to over 772 species.[6] The genus is very closely related to black yeasts in the order Dothideales.[5] Cladosporium species are often highly osmotolerant, growing easily on media containing 10% glucose or 12–17% NaCl.[5] They are rarely grown on media containing 24% NaCl or 50% glucose and never isolated from medium with 32% NaCl or greater.[5] Most species have very fragile spore chains, making it extremely difficult to prepare a mount for microscopic observation in which the conidial chains are preserved intact.[7]

Health effects[edit]

Cladosporium species are present in the human mycobiome but are rarely pathogenic to humans. They have been reported to cause infections of the skin and toenails as well as sinuses and lungs, with more common symptoms including nasal congestion, sneezing, coughing, and itchy eyes.[8] The airborne spores of Cladosporium species are significant allergens, and in large amounts they can severely affect people with asthma and other respiratory diseases. Cladosporium species produce no major mycotoxins of concern, but do produce volatile organic compounds (VOCs) associated with odours. Fortunately, Cladosporium is not associated with anaphylaxis.[8]

Hyperparasitism on rusts[edit]

Several Cladosporium species are known to be hyperparasitic to rust fungi.[9][10][11]



  1. ^ "Synonymy. Current Name: Cladosporium Link, Mag. Gesell. naturf. Freunde, Berlin 7: 37 (1816) [1815]". Species Fungorum. Retrieved 22 August 2023.
  2. ^ Khan M, Sohrab MH, Rony SR, Tareq FS, Hasan CM, Mazid MA (2016). "Cytotoxic and antibacterial naphthoquinones from an endophytic fungus, Cladosporium sp". Toxicology Reports. 3: 861–865. doi:10.1016/j.toxrep.2016.10.005. PMC 5616083. PMID 28959613. S2CID 19518838.
  3. ^ Anilkumar, T.B.; Seshadri, V.S. (1975). "Cladosporium leaf spot of sunflower". Current Science. 44 (19): 722.
  4. ^ Rivas, S.; Thomas, C.M. (2005). "Molecular interactions between tomato and the leaf mold pathogen: Cladosporium fulvum". Annual Review of Phytopathology. 43: 395–436. doi:10.1146/annurev.phyto.43.040204.140224. PMID 16078890.
  5. ^ a b c d Deshmukh, S.K.; Rai, M.K. (2005). Biodiversity of fungi : their role in human life. Enfield, NH: Science Publishers. p. 460. ISBN 1578083680.
  6. ^ Dugan, Frank M.; Schubert, Konstanze; Braun, Uwe (2004). "Check-list of Cladosporium names". Schlechtendalia. 11: 1–119. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-03-31. Retrieved 2017-09-11.
  7. ^ Barron, George L. (1968). The genera of Hyphomycetes from soil. Baltimore, MD: Williams & Wilkins. ISBN 9780882750040.
  8. ^ a b "Allergen Fact Sheets". www.thermofisher.com. Retrieved 2022-08-02.
  9. ^ Torres, David Eduardo; Rojas-Martínez, Reyna Isabel; Zavaleta-Mejía, Emma; Guevara-Fefer, Patricia; Márquez-Guzmán, G. Judith; Pérez-Martínez, Carolina (2017-01-31). "Cladosporium cladosporioides and Cladosporium pseudocladosporioides as potential new fungal antagonists of Puccinia horiana Henn., the causal agent of chrysanthemum white rust". PLOS ONE. 12 (1): e0170782. Bibcode:2017PLoSO..1270782T. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0170782. ISSN 1932-6203. PMC 5283677. PMID 28141830.
  10. ^ Assante, Gemma; Maffi, Dario; Saracchi, Marco; Farina, Gandolfina; Moricca, Salvatore; Ragazzi, Alessandro (February 2004). "Histological studies on the mycoparasitism of Cladosporium tenuissimum on urediniospores of Uromyces appendiculatus". Mycological Research. 108 (2): 170–182. doi:10.1017/S0953756203008852. ISSN 1469-8102. PMID 15119354.
  11. ^ Zhan, Gangming; Tian, Yuan; Wang, Fuping; Chen, Xianming; Guo, Jun; Jiao, Min; Huang, Lili; Kang, Zhensheng (2014-11-04). "A Novel Fungal Hyperparasite of Puccinia striiformis f. sp. tritici, the Causal Agent of Wheat Stripe Rust". PLOS ONE. 9 (11): e111484. Bibcode:2014PLoSO...9k1484Z. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0111484. ISSN 1932-6203. PMC 4219752. PMID 25369036.

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