Penicillium sp.

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Penicillium sp.

Structure and Physiology

This fungi genus contains over 300 species which have roles in the production of antibiotics (Penicillin), organic acids, and cheeses. These saprophytic molds are notorious for fruit and vegetable spoilage, causing a fuzzy blue texture. Penicillium is a latin root meaning “painter’s brush”, which is used as a descripitor for the chains of conidia produced by this genus that resemble a broom.

Transmission and Disease

Some species also known to produce mycotoxins, such as Patulin toxin which is known as a possible carcinogen. 


This genus is used extensively in fungal resistance testing to assess various substances’ ability to either prevent the growth of fungi or to assess the ability of the fungi to use the substance as a substrate for growth.


Some Penicillium species have gained attention in the field of bioremediation for the ability to breakdown pollutants that are toxic to humans called xenobiotic compounds.

  • Haubrich, W.S. (2003). Medical Meanings: A Glossary of Word Origins (2nd ed.). Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: American College of Physicians. p. 175. ISBN 978-1-930513-49-5. Retrieved 2013-02-03.
  • Leitão, Ana Lúcia. “Potential of Penicillium species in the bioremediation field.” International journal of environmental research and public health 6.4 (2009): 1393-1417.