Friday, November 1, 2013

Chaetomium Fungi growing in my bathroom

Happy Halloween!
This blog is partly about fungi, so here goes.  I noticed a black discoloration coming up through the vinyl in my bathroom and I suspected mold.  So I pulled up the flooring and my suspicions were confirmed (I'll be contacted my insurance company about this) there is indeed mold in my bathroom.

The culprit is the wax ring on the toilet.  This is very disappointing as the floor was redone and the toilet was lifted up just 8 years ago.  They should have replaced the wax ring when they lifted up the toilet. I suspect that they did not replace the $4.00 ring.  Worse yet is the OSB  floorboard that the previous homeowner though would make a good underlayment for vinyl.. NOT!  But hey, he only floored the house so he could sell it.

Anyway thanks to my college education I have been able to ID the mold in my bathrooms.  It is Chaetomium species.  It is not the scary black death mold that mold is Stachybotrys.  Still it can cause health problems for humans.  Here are some pictures of it that I took.

The presence of septate hyphea immediately told me that
I was looking at a higher fungi.  Either an Ascomycete or Basidiomycete

Dessicated spores have grooves, this was key to me figuring out the Genus

With some Cello tape I was able to lift up the whole structures for observation.
The hairy round glob is a Cliestothecia, it contains asci.

Hydrated spores do not have groove
They are elliptical and 5-7 microns long

Curled tip of hyphea in center  could be the start of a new cliestothecia
 Now I would like to find a key to Chaetomium so I can try to get this down to species.

No comments: