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Phoma Mold Species

Phoma species is a rare causative agent of Phaeohyphomycosis.

(Information from  A Clinical Laboratory Handbook: Identifying Filamentous Fungi )



Taxonomic Classifications


Kingdom: Fungi
Phylum: Ascomycota

Order: Pleosporales

Family: Pleosporaceae

Genus: Phoma


Phoma Mold Picture

Phoma Atlas Scan Images

(Image Courtesy of @ 2005)

 Atlas Scan Images of Phoma Microscopic Morphology





Phoma is a cosmopolitan, dematiaceous filamentous fungus that inhabits the soil and plant material.  Phoma species are common plant pathogens.  While they are commonly considered as contaminants, Phoma species may cause infections in humans in exceptional cases.



The genus Phoma contains several species. However, most of the strains isolated from human infections have not been identified to species level.  The morphological features such as the color of the colony, morphology of the conidia, existence and structure of chlamydospores help in species differentiation.


Pathogenicity and Health Effects

Phoma species are among the rarely encountered agents of phaeohyphomycosis. The infection commonly develops after a trauma.  Additionally, immunosuppression is considered a major risk factor for its development.  These infections may be cutaneous, subcutaneous, corneal, or (rarely) systemic.


Macroscopic Appearance

     Growth rate is rapid and colonies are flat, powdery to velvety in texture, spreading, and frequently submerged in the medium; and

     The surface colony color is initially white becoming olive gray, sometimes with a tint of pink while reverse is dark brown to black with a brown diffusible pigment in some species such as Phoma cruris - hominis and Phoma herbarum which produce a reddish purple to yellowish brown diffusible pigment on the reverse.


Microscopic Appearance

      Septate hyphae, pycnidia, conidia, and sometimes, chlamydospores are present;

      Hyphae are septate, hyaline to brown while pycnidia are the fruiting bodies that are large, dark in color, round to pyriform in shape and with size ranging from 70 100  m in diameter, and with one to several openings called the ostioles on their surface from which the conidia are released outside;

      Conidia are hyaline, oval shaped, unicellular and each conidium usually has two oil droplets inside; and

      Chlamydospores are brown, may appear in long chains or solitary, and may either be unicellular or multicellular and alternarioid which resembles Alternaria in appearance.


Laboratory Precautions

General laboratory precautions are required, no special safety measures needed.



No data are available.


The mycological information gathered and
organized in this extensive research on different
Pathogenic Molds was sourced out from the list of
informative websites and reference below:

A Clinical Laboratory Handbook: Identifying Filamentous Fungi by St. Germain, Guy and R. Summerbell.


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