Clonostachys rosea f. rosea

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Clonostachys rosea f. rosea
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Fungi
Phylum: Ascomycota
Class: Sordariomycetes
Subclass: Hypocreomycetidae
Order: Hypocreales
Family: Bionectriaceae
Genus: Clonostachys
Species: C. rosea f. rosea
Binomial name
Clonostachys rosea f. rosea
(Link) Schroers, (1999)

Clonostachys araucaria
Clonostachys araucaria var. confusa
Clonostachys rosea
Gliocladium aureum
Gliocladium roseum
Haplotrichum roseum
Penicillium roseum

Clonostachys rosea f. rosea, also known as Gliocladium roseum,[1] is a species of fungus in the family Bionectriaceae. It colonizes living plants as an endophyte, digests material in soil as a saprophyte and is also known as a parasite of other fungi and of nematodes.[2] It produces a wide range of volatile organic compounds which are toxic to organisms including other fungi, bacteria, and insects, and is of interest as a biological pest control agent. The volatile emissions of one strain, found growing in the ulmo trees in the rainforests of Patagonia (Argentina and Chile), have been said to resemble diesel, and thus to be a potential biofuel.[3]

Biological control[edit]

Clonostachys rosea protects plants against Botrytis cinerea ("grey mold") by suppressing spore production.[4] Its hyphae have been found to coil around, penetrate, and grow inside the hyphae and conidia of B. cinerea.[5]

Nematodes are infected by C. rosea when the fungus' conidia attach to their cuticle and germinate, going on to produce germ tubes which penetrate the host's body and kill it.[4]


Main articles: Bioalcohol and Biodiesel

In 2008 an isolate of Clonostachys rosea was identified as producing a series of volatile compounds that are similar to some existing fuels. However, the taxonomy of this isolate was later revised to Ascocoryne sarcoides.[6] According to the researchers, it produces a distinctive combination of gases, including hydrocarbons, many of which are also found in gasoline mixtures. They have suggested that this, combined with its ability to digest cellulose, make it a potential source of biofuel.[7]

Professor Gary Strobel of Montana State University, who led the work, said, "this is the only organism that has ever been shown to produce such an important combination of fuel substances."[8]

In Strobel's study, volatile hydrocarbons and their derivates were produced when the strain was cultured on both oatmeal-based agar and on a cellulose-based medium. Compounds produced on the oatmeal-based medium included "an extensive series of the acetic acid esters of straight-chained alkanes", cyclohexane, isomers of decane and undecane, and others. Those produced on the cellulose-based medium included heptane, octane, benzene, and some branched hydrocarbons. Fatty acids and lipids were also found in liquid cultures.[9]

Potential environmental and socioeconomics benefits[edit]

This fungus' ability to convert cellulose to hydrocarbons could provide environmental and socioeconomic benefit because it may allow for organic waste products such as sawdust to be used in biofuel production instead of food sources such as corn.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Classification of the mycoparasite Gliocladium roseum in Clonostachys as C. rosea, its relationship to Bionectria ochroleuca, and notes on other Gliocladium-like fungi". Mycologia, article: pp. 365–385; Volume 91, Issue 2 (March 1999). 
  3. ^ a b Jha, Alok (2008-11-04). "Scientists discover Patagonian diesel that grows on trees". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 2008-11-04. 
  4. ^ a b Investigation on the infection mechanism of the fungus Clonostachys rosea against nematodes using the green fluorescent protein Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology Volume 78, Number 6 / April, 2008
  5. ^ Morphological development and interactions of Gliocladium roseum and Botrytis cinerea in raspberry H Yu, JC Sutton - CANADIAN JOURNAL OF PLANT PATHOLOGY, 1997
  6. ^ Griffin, M.A., Spakowicz, D.J., Gianoulis, T.A., and Strobel, S.A. (2010). Volatile organic compound production by organisms in the genus Ascocoryne and a re-evaluation of myco-diesel production by NRRL 50072. Microbiology 156, 3814–3829.
  7. ^ "Fungus 'manufactures diesel'". Press Association. 2008-11-04. Retrieved 2008-11-04. [dead link]
  8. ^
  9. ^ The production of myco-diesel hydrocarbons and their derivatives by the endophytic fungus Gliocladium roseum (NRRL 50072)

External links[edit]