Amorphotheca resinae DAOM194228

Credit: Geneviève Quenneville

Genome Project

— Genozymes, Concordia University

EST Project

cDNA annotation — Centre for Structural and Functional Genomics, Concordia University

Species Information (from Index Fungorum)

Current name

Amorphotheca resinae Parbery 1969 [1] 


Cladosporium avellaneum G.A. de Vries [2]
Cladosporium resinae (Lindau) G.A. de Vries 1955
Associated anamorph

Hormoconis resinae (Lindau) Arx & G.A. de Vries 1973 [3]

Lineage (abbreviated from NCBI taxonomy database)

Ascomycota; Leotiomycetes; Leotiomycetes incertae sedis; Myxotrichaceae; Amorphotheca


A. resinae is widely distributed in soil, and has been isolated from samples in Australia, Britain, France, Sweden and New Zealand (4, 5). It has been suggested that it can compete favourably with other microbes for hydrocarbons and related compounds in the soil (6). A. resinae has been isolated from marine and estuarine environments where it has also been associated with decomposition of hydrocarbons (7). Isolated strains have been reported to show optimal growth around 30°C with a range from 5-40°C, and in a pH range from 2-10 with optima towards the acidic end of the range (8).

Interesting Features

Decomposer of lignocellulose

A. resinae can grow on the surface of hard- and softwood, but even after 10 months the weight and physical appearance of test blocks were unchanged (9). One strain was shown to grow on a variety of mono- and disaccharides, with the best growth supported by xylose, maltose, cellobiose and mannose, in that order, followed by other monosaccharides including glucose (8). Degradation of pectin, starch and galactomannan have been reported (10). Several strains of A. resinae have been reported not to degrade cellulose (10, 11). Polysaccharide degrading enzymes isolated from this species include glucoamylases (12, 13) and beta-glucosidase (14). Lignin derived from aspen or spruce supports good growth (9).

A recent study concluded that a strain of A. resinae was capable of degrading toxic byproducts, produced by pre-treatment of lignocellulosic material, prior to fermentation (11).

Growth on hydrocarbons and aviation fuel

A. resinae grows on a range of aliphatic and aromatic hydrocarbons , including alkanes, alkene, cyclic hydrocarbons, benzene and alkyl benzenes (15). A report on the ability of this species to grow in aviation fuel first appeared in 1964 (16), resulting in the name “kerosene fungus”, and this was followed by various other reports and studies on this phenomenon (summarized in 17). Previous to that, several studies had shown that A. resinae can grow on creosote and coal tar treated wood: these studies included evidence that the organism can not only tolerate creosote and coal tar, but also use these substances as sources of carbon and nitrogen (9, 18).


1. Parbery DG (1969) Amorphotheca resinae gen. nov., sp. nov.: The perfect state of Cladosporium resinae. Australian Journal of Botany 17: 331-357.

2. Vries GAd (1952) Contribution to the knowledge of genus Cladosporium Link ex Fr. Bibliotheca Mycologia 3: 46-56. Taxonomical Part 1. Classification of Cladosporium.

3. Arx JAv (1973) Centraalbureau voor Schimmelcultures, Progress Report 1972. Verhandelingen, Koninklijke Nederlandse Akademie van Wetenschappen, Afdeling Natuurkunde 61: 59-81.

4. Parbery DG (1969) The natural occurrence of Cladosporium resinae. Trans. Br. Mycol. Soc. 53: 15-23.

5. Sheridan JE, Nelson J, Tan YL (1972) Studies on the Kerosene Fungus Cladosporium resinae (Lindau) De Vries — Part II. The Natural Habitat of C. resinae. Tuatara 19: 70-96.

6. Parbery DG (1968) The soil as a natural source of Cladosporium resinae. Biodet. of Materials. Elsevier Pub. Co., London. 371-380.

7. Ahearn DG, Meyers SP (1972) The role of fungi in the decomposition of hydrocarbons in the marine environment. In Biodeterioration of Materials, pp. I 2-18. Applied Science Publishers.

8. Sheridan JE, Nelson J, Tan, YL (1972) Studies on The ‘Kerosene Fungus’ Cladosporium resinae (Lindau) De Vries — Part III. Morphology, Taxonomy and Physiology. Tuatara 19: 130-162.

9. Christensen CM, Kaufert F H, Schmitz, H, and Allison, JL, (1942) Hormodendrum resinae (Lindau), an inhabitant of wood impregnated with creosote and coal tar. Amer. J. Bot. 29: 552-558.

10. Fujii K, Sugimura T, and Nakatake K (2010) Ascomycetes with cellulolytic, amylolytic, pectinolytic, and mannanolytic activities inhabiting dead beech (Fagus crenata) trees. Folia Microbiologica 55: 29-34.

11. Zhang J, Zhu Z, Wang X, Wang N, Wang W, Bao J. (2010) Biodetoxification of toxins generated from lignocellulose pretreatment using a newly isolated fungus, Amorphotheca resinae ZN1, and the consequent ethanol fermentation. Biotechnol Biofuels. 3: 26-41.

12. Fagerström R, Vainio A, Suoranta K, Pakula T, Kalkkinen N, Torkkeli H. (1990) Comparison of two glucoamylases from Hormoconis resinae. J Gen Microbiol. 136:913-20.

13. McCleary BV, Anderson MA. (1980) Hydrolysis of alpha-D-glucans and alpha-D-gluco-oligosaccharides by Cladosporium resinae glucoamylases Carbohydr Res. 86: 77-96.

14. Oh, K.-B., Hamada, K., Saito, M., Lee, H.-J., and Matsuoka, H. (1999) Isolation and Properties of an Extracellular β-Glucosidase from a Filamentous Fungus, Cladosporium resinae, Isolated from Kerosene Biosci. Biotech and Biochem 63: 281-287.

15. Cofone Jr. L, Walker JD, Cooney JJ (1973) Utilization of Hydrocarbons by Cladosporium resinae Journal of General Microbiology 76: 243-246.

16. Hendey, NI (1964) Some observations on Cladosporium resinae as a fuel contaminant, and its possible role in the corrosion of aluminium alloy fuel tanks. Trans. Br. Mycol. Soc. 47: 467-475.

17. Sheridan JE, Nelson J, Tan YL (1972) Studies on the ‘Kerosene Fungus’ Cladosporium resinae (Lindau) De Vries Part I. The Problem of Microbial Contamination of Aviation Fuels. Tuatara 19: 21-42.

18. Marsden, DH (1954) Studies of the creosote fungus, Hormodendrum resina. Mycologia 46: 161-183.