Spicellum mold is a type of the Hypocreales fungi which are common in all types of moist forests. These fungi are easily recognized by their brightly colored fructifications. More than 200 species of Hypocrea have been described. The genus Spicellum contains three species: Spicellum ovalisporum (synonym for Trichothecium ovalisporum), Spicellum roseum (synonym for Trichothecium sympodiale) and Spicellum palmicolais.

Spicellum roseum has been isolated from silage, cultivated mushrooms Flammulina velutipes and paper bags containing corn soya milk. The spieces is the causative agent of the pink mold damping-off disease. It produces trichothecene mycotoxins which interfere with synthesis of glucocerebroside, important components in animal muscle and nerve cell membranes. In humans low to moderate doses cause acute oral exposure to trichothecenes cause vomiting, diarrhea and gastroenteritis. Higher doses cause severe damage to the lymphoid and epithelial cells of the gastrointestinal mucosa resulting in hemorrhage, endotoxemia and shock.

Natural products produced by the marine-derived fungus Spicellum roseum, isolated from the sponge Ectyoplasia ferox collected from the waters around the Caribbean island of Dominica, afforded two new compounds, named spicellamide A and spicellamide B. They were shown to be activite against rat neuroblastoma cells.2 A fermentation broth of Spicellum roseum has antimicrobial properties against certain yeasts.


Marine fungus Spicellum roseum isolated from from the sponge Ectyoplasia ferox
  1. Trichothecenes induce accumulation of glucosylceramide in neural cells by interfering with lactosylceramide synthase activity
  2. Bioactive Compounds from Marine Bacteria and Fungi. Abdessamad Debbab, Amal H. Aly, Wen H. Lin and Peter Proksch, DOI: 10.1111/j.1751-7915.2010.00179.x
  3. Hypocrea/Trichoderma (Ascomycota, Hypocreales, Hypocreaceae): species with green ascospores (www.cbs.knaw.nl/)
  4. Spicellum ovalisporum
  5. Mycotoxins and metabolites, toxicity and implications. Daniela Marin, Ionelia Taranu, Gina Manda



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