Tuesday 19 April 2011

Syncephalastrum species

Syncephalastrum species
-A filamentous fungus classified within the order Mucorales.

Syncephalastrum species are saprobes commonly isolated from animal dung and soil primarily in tropical or subtropical regions.

Very rapid growth - mature within 3 days. Abundant aerial hyphae gives a wooly or cotton candy-like texture. Pale to dark grey shades on the surface with a white or pale reverse.

Syncephalastrum on Sabouraud's Dextrose Agar at 72 hrs at 30C
  • Broad hyphae -septa absent or rare.
  • Sporangiophores are 10-25 µm wide, often branched, having a terminal vesicle up to 80 µm in diameter, which produce finger shaped merosporangia (4-6 µm by 9-35 µm) over the entire surface.
  • Sporangiospores (merospores) are round and formed in a linear series, between 3 to 18 in number within in the interior of the merosporangia. They are smooth in texture, pale brown, spherical to oval, ~3-7 µm in diameter.
  • Rhyzoids are usually present
Sporangiophore arising from hyphae with terminal vesicle with merosporangia radiating out from the surface. (LPCB X400)
(click on photo to enlarge for better viewing)

Mature Syncephalastrum sporangiophores (LPCB x400)
(click on photo to enlarge for better viewing)

(click on photo to enlarge for better viewing)

Syncephalastrum sporangiophore with radiating finger-like merosorangia containing individual merospores.
(click on photo to enlarge for better viewing)

Finger-like merosporangia free of sporangiophore, each containing merospores
(click on photo to enlarge for better viewing)

Considered to be non-pathogenic to humans although a case of cutaneous infection has been reported (Kalama & Thambiah 1980). May be found as a contaminant.