Scytalidium thermophilum CBS 625.91

Credit: Corinne Darmond

Genome Project

– Centre for Structural and Functional Genomics, Concordia University

EST Project

Species Information (from Index Fungorum)


Scytalidium thermophilum (Cooney & R. Emers.) [1]


Torula thermophila Cooney & R. Emers. 1964


Phaeoscopulariopsis paisii (Pollacci) M. Ota (1928)

Scopulariopsis paisii (Pollacci) Nann. (1932)

Torula paisii Pollacci (1921)

Torula thermophila Cooney & R. Emers. (1964)

Associated anamorph

Note on taxonomy

Some authors claim that Humicola grisea var. thermoidea and H. insolens are synonyms [2,3] but others disagree, for example on the grounds that the mode of chlamydospore formation in Scytalidium deviates from that of Humicola [4,5]. The features described here therefore do not include any reported for Humicola species.

Lineage (from NCBI Taxonomy)

Fungi; Dikarya; Ascomycota; saccharomyceta; Pezizomycotina; leotiomyceta; sordariomyceta; Leotiomycetes; mitosporic Leotiomycetes; Scytalidium


Scytalidium thermophilum is the climax species in mushroom compost and is the exclusive species at the end of the process [6]. It was also found to stimulate the growth of A. bisporus. S. thermophilum strain CBS 625.91 was isolated from chicken nest straw [7].

Interesting Features

Decomposer of lignocellulose

S. thermophilum MTCC 4520 grown in the presence of different celluloses , as well as lignocellulosic substrates such as rice straw and wheat bran, produced extracellular endoglucanase and -glucosidase activities above the level of glucose-grown controls [8]. Another strain, designated Scytalidium thermophilum (type culture Torula thermophila) 3-A, isolated from mushroom compost, was cultured using a wide range of lignocellulosic substrates including straws, grasses and bagasses in submerged culture conditions, and varying levels of endoglucanase, exoglucanase and filter paper activities were detected in culture media [9].

Thermoactive enzymes

The following enzymes from S. thermophilum isolates have been characterized and have temperature optima of 55 oC or above: alpha-amylase [10]; glucoamylase [11]; β-glucosidase [12]; β-xylosidase [13]; endoglucanase [14]; alkaline phosphatase [15]; and trehalase [16]. Xylanase-producing strains have also been reported [17,18].

Industrial application

S. thermophilum stimulates the growth of the commercial mushroom, Agricus bisporus, in compost [6] and is effective in preparation of mushroom compost to improve A. bisporus yields [19].


1. Austwick PKC (1976) Environmental aspects of Mortierella wolfii infection in cattle. New Zealand J Agric Res. 19: 25–33.

2. Straatsma G and Samson RA (1993) Taxonomy of Scytalidium thermophilum, an important thermophilic fungus in mushroom compost. Mycological Research 97: 321-328.

3. Lyons GA, McKay GJ and Shekhar Sharma HS (2000) Molecular comparison of Scytalidium thermophilum isolates using RAPD and ITS nucleotide sequence analyses. Mycol Res. 104: 1431-1438

4. Mouchacca J (1997) Thermophilic fungi: biodiversity and taxonomic status. Cryptogamie, Mycologie 18: 19-69.

5. Mouchacca J (2000) Thermophilic fungi and applied research: a synopsis of name changes and synonymies. World J Microbiol and Biotech. 16: 881-888

6. Straatsma G et al. (1994) Ecology of Thermophilic Fungi in Mushroom Compost, with Emphasis on Scytalidium thermophilum and Growth Stimulation of Agaricus bisporus Mycelium. Appl Environ Microbiol 60(2):454-458.

7.;jsessionid=DB4C6F2ABF682491E9C44067671366D9 (accessed Nov 13, 2011)

8. Kaur J, Chadha BS and Saini HS Regulation of cellulase production in two thermophilic fungi Melanocarpus sp. MTCC 3922 and Scytalidium thermophilum MTCC 4520. Enzyme and Microb. Technol. 38: 931-936

9. Ögel ZB, Yarangümeli K, Dündar H, Ifrij \A9. (2001) Submerged cultivation of Scytalidium thermophilum on complex lignocellulosic biomass for endoglucanase production. Enzyme Microb Technol. 28: 689-695

10. Aquino ACMM et al. (2003) Studies on a thermostable a-amylase from the thermophilic fungus Scytalidium thermophilum. Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology 61:323-328

11. Cereia M et al. (2000) Glucoamylase activity from the thermophilic fungus

Scytalidium thermophilum. Biochemical and regulatory properties. J. Basic Microbiol. 40: 83–92

12. Zanoelo, FF et al. (2004) β-Glucosidase activity from the thermophilic fungus Scytalidium thermophilum is stimulated by glucose and xylose. FEMS Microbiol Lett 240(2): 137-143.

13. Zanoelo, FF et al. (2004) Purification and biochemical properties of a thermostable xylose-tolerant ß-D-xylosidase from Scytalidium thermophilum. J Ind Microbiol Biotech. 31(4):170-176

14. Arifoglu N, Ögel ZB. (2000) Avicel-adsorbable endoglucanase production by the thermophilic fungus Scytalidium thermophilum type culture Torula thermophila. Enzyme Microb Technol. 27(8):560-569.

15. Guimarães LH, Terenzi HF, Jorge JA, Polizeli ML. (2001) Thermostable conidial and mycelial alkaline phosphatases from the thermophilic fungus Scytalidium thermophilum. J Ind Microbiol Biotechnol. 27:265-270

16. Kadowaki MK, Polizeli ML, Terenzi HF, Jorge JA. (1996) Characterization of trehalase activities from the thermophilic fungus Scytalidium thermophilum. Biochim Biophys Acta. 1291(3):199-205.

17. Boonlue S, Aimi T, Morinaga T (2003) Molecular characterization of a xylanase-producing thermophilic fungus isolated from Japanese soil. Curr Microbiol. 47:119-124.

18. Boonlue S, Aimi T, Kitamoto Y and Morinaga T (2008) Nucleotide sequence of a GH11 family xylanase encoding gene in Scytalidium thermophilum. DNA Seq.19(3):366-370.

19. Straatma G et al. (1994) Inoculation of Scytalidium thermophilum in button mushroom compost and it effect on yield. Appl Environ Microbiol. 60(9):3049-3054.