P. chrysogenum

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P. chrysogenum

Taxonomy/ PhylogenyDomain: Eukarya- Complex, membrane bound cell, with DNA in a nucleusKingdom: Fungi- Heterotrophic, cell walls made of chitinPhylum: Ascomycota- Groups within the kingdom fungi are separated by their sexual reproductive structures or lack of. Due to P. chrysogenum formerly not showing sexual reproduction it was placed under deuteromycetes, however morphology and DNA reveals that its sexual state places it under ascomycota (reproduces with asci).Class: Eurotiomycetes- Produces an ascocarp, the fruiting body of ascomycetesOrder:Eurotiales- Thin walled asci on ascocarpsFamily: Trichocomaceae- Releases when ascus is brokenGenus: Penicillium- Filamentous and cotton-like in textureSpecies: P. Chrysogenum

AdaptationP. chrysogenum evolved the ability to produce penicillin over thousands of years. This trait is shared with some other fungi. It offers an advantage over bacteria when competing for food sources, due to it causing certain bacteria to lyse. Some bacteria have developed the ability to produce penicillinases, which are enzymes that degrade penicillin.P. chrysogenum's lineage suggest that it has evolved from lichen forming fungi. Lichen is a mutualistic relationship with an algae or cyanobacteria which usually involves fugi from the phylum ascomycota.

Penicillium, a common indoor contaminant

Movement/DispersalPenicillium chrysogenum lacks means of movement on its own and must rely on external forces to disperse. When spores (conidia) are released to the environment through germination, they are carried by wind to other coloniztion sites. Other germinating helpers can include animals or water.

Basic information• Penicillium chrysogenum, AKA Penicillium notatum, is the source for the first antibiotic, penicillin• Penicillin was discovered by accident by Scottish-born microbiologist, Alexander Fleming.• His discovery occurred when he left his lab one weekend in 1928, but forgot to clean up his experiments with Staphylococcus aureus. When he returned, he noticed mold on one of the plates and there was also a clearing in the bacteria around the mold.• The name Penicillium comes from the Latin word “penicillus” which means paintbrush. The fungus was given this name due to its resemblance to a paintbrush.

Penicillium chrysogenum

HabitatPenicillium spores are found everywhere worldwide.They are found in soil, decaying vegetation, air and are common contaminants on various substances. P. chrysogenum is the most common species of Penicillium. Due to P. chrysogenum’s heterotrophic nature, the fungus does not require light for survival. This allows the organism to strive in a variety of habitats In indoor habitats, Penicillium chrysogenum is common on damp building materials, walls and wallpaper, floor, carpets and furniture dust. P. chrysogenum is less likely to adapt to its environment, but instead will succeed in environments that are already adapted to it.

NutritionPenicillium chrysogenum are decomposers, they break down detritus materials (non-living organic material) and convert complex carbon structures into simpler forms. The fungus expels carbon dioxide through respiration and leave behind nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorous in the soil which will then be absorbed by the next species on the food chain, plants. Digestion in fungi occurs when they secrete enzymes, known as exoenzymes, into the surface they are growing on. These enzymes digest the food, which are then absorbed through the hyphal walls. After the nutrients are ingested, they spread through the hyphae across the organism. Unused nutrients are stored as glycogen. P. chrysogenum can also form a parasitic relationship with other organisms, as allergens. Usually humans are hosts.

Reproduction/ Life CycleDuring P. chrysogenum's asexual reproduction, asexual spores known as conidia are released into the environment, which is known as germination. After this process the new haploid spores reform into conidia and repeat the process.For over one hundred years it was assumed that Penicillium chrysogenum only reproduced asexually. Very recently, a research team at the Ruhr-Universitat revealed that the fungus has a sexual cycle (two genders). This allows researchers to produce strains with cetain properties, such as high penicillin production. The specific environmental conditions for sexual reproduction were determined through this research. Fungal strains must be bred in the dark under oxygen deprivation conditions in a nutrient medium supplemented with the vitamin biotin.Sexual reproduction was theorized to resemble that of ascomycota organisms (sac fungi). Ascomycetes, including P. chrysogenum produce a sac-like structure know as an ascus, which are formed where sexually opposite hyphae fuze together. Sexual spores called ascospores are contained in the ascus which are then released to germinate, similar to asexual reproduction.

StructuresPenecillium chrysogenum is a filamentous fungus. It has a wooly or cotton-like appearance which begins as a whitish colour and changes to a blue-green, yellow, pink, or grey shade.The fungus consists of hyhae which contain conidophores at the ends. These conidophores are the structures that contain asexual conidia. Conidophores begin to grow when a stalk sprouts out of a foot cell and then swells at the end to form a vesicle (small bubble), which develope sterigmata. Sterigmata are spore-bearing projections which contain conidia. Conidophores give P. chrysogenum its defining characteristic of resembling a paintbrush.

Relationship With HumansP. chrysogenum is commonly used as an antibiotic due to its capabilities to produce penicillin. Penicillin works against gram-positive bacteria such as Staphylococcus and Pneumococcus (which causes Pneumonia) through disrupting the bacterial cell wall synthesis which then causes the cell to take in too much water. This induces lysis on the cell, causing it to burst. Penicillin has no harmful effects on humans, unless they are allergic to penicillin. Around 10% of humans are allergic to penicillin. P. chrysogenum spores themself, when inhaled, may induce a condition known as sick building syndrome (SBS) which causes fatigue, itchy eyes, and headaches. Surprisingly many people who have this reaction to mould when inhaled, do not have a negative reaction to the drug penicillin. Infections may be caused by P. chrysogenum in people with suppressed immune systems. This includes autoimmune diseases like HIV/AIDS and some forms of cancer.

Phylogenic Tree of Fungihttp://bio1151b.nicerweb.net/Locked/media/ch31/31_UN618FungalPhylogeny.jpg

P. chrysogenum (conidophores)http://bioweb.uwlax.edu/bio203/s2008/kitzmann_step/Reproduction.htm

P. chrysogenum grown in a labhttp://bioweb.uwlax.edu/bio203/s2008/kitzmann_step/Image1.jpg



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