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Biotoxic activity in the Mucorales


The toxigenicity of representatives of 15 species of Mucorales (Absidia glauca, Actinomucor elegans, Cunninghamella elegans, Helicostylum piriforme, Mortierella isabellina, Mortierella (Mucor) rammaniana, Mucor hiemalis, Mucor mucedo, Mucor spinosus, Phycomyces blakesleeanus, Rhizopus oligosporus, Rhizopus stolonifer, Syncephalastrum racemosum, Thamnidium elegans, Zygorhynchus moelleri) towards the larvae of brine shrimp (Artemia salina) and the growth of pea seedlings (Pisum sativum) and tobacco plants (Nicotiana tabacum) was evaluated. The fungi were cultivated on malt extract agar and aqueous solutions of the cultures were tested.Thamnidium elegans showed a marked toxic action towards brine shrimp (mortality: 74.1%) andPhycomyces, Actinomucor andSyncephalastrum were only weakly toxic. Length and weight of stems of pea seedlings were moderately reduced by extracts ofAbsidia, Cunninghamella, Zygorhynchus andThamnidium and to a lesser degree byMucor spinosus. Cunninghamella andMucor spinosus also inhibited the development of pea hypocotyls. The length of tobacco stems was reduced byMortierella ramanniana, Rhizopus stolonifer andCunninghamella elegans. Wilting or other toxic phenomena were never observed with both test plants. Considering the present results and data from literature it is suggested that species of Mucorales have only a weak toxigenicity.

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Correspondence to Dr. J. Reiss.

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Reiss, J. Biotoxic activity in the Mucorales. Mycopathologia 121, 123–127 (1993).

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Key words

  • Brine shrimp text
  • Mucorales
  • Plant assays
  • Toxicity