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Potential of the volatile-producing fungus Muscodor albus for control of building molds

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The possibility of using the volatile-producing fungus Muscodor albus for biofumigation against building molds was investigated. Several species of Aspergillus and Penicillium as well as fungi belonging to nine other genera were inhibited or killed in vitro by volatiles produced by potato dextrose agar or rye grain cultures of M. albus. Trichoderma viride was the only fungus that was not inhibited by M. albus volatiles. To test biofumigation as a preventative treatment against fungal colonization of building material, dry pieces of gypsum drywall were fumigated with grain cultures of M. albus in closed boxes. After a simulated water damage and incubation under saturated humidity for 2 weeks, untreated drywall developed natural fungal populations of about 105–106 cfu/cm2, while drywall fumigated with M. albus culture (20 g/11 L) had nondetectable fungal populations. To test for curative ability, moist pieces of drywall heavily colonized with Cladosporium cladosporioides, Aspergillus niger, or Stachybotrys chartarum were fumigated for 48 h with grain cultures of M. albus. Cladosporium cladosporioides was eliminated within 48 h, while A. niger and S. chartarum were usually more resistant. However, a longer curative fumigation of 96 h was effective in reducing A. niger or naturally occurring mold populations by about 5 log values. The production of volatile organic compounds from 20 g of rye grain culture in 11 L containers was monitored by solid-phase micro extraction and gas chromatography. Concentrations of isobutyric acid, the most abundant volatile, increased gradually in the headspace until it reached 25 g/L (m/v) within 96 h. The second and third most abundant compounds, 2-methyl-1-butanol and isobutanol, peaked at about 10 and 5 g/L (m/v), respectively, within the first 24 h and declined gradually afterwards.

Keywords: Aspergillus; Cladospodium; Cladosporium; Muscodor albus; Stachybotrys; Trichoderma; Xylariaceae; Xylariacées; biofumigation; btiment contaminé; building mold; composé volatile; fumigation; fumigation biologique; moisissure du btiment; sick building; volatile

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: March 1, 2007

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  • Published since 1954, this monthly journal contains new research in the field of microbiology including applied microbiology and biotechnology; microbial structure and function; fungi and other eucaryotic protists; infection and immunity; microbial ecology; physiology, metabolism and enzymology; and virology, genetics, and molecular biology. It also publishes review articles and notes on an occasional basis, contributed by recognized scientists worldwide.
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