Aspergillus clavatus- An Overview


Aspergillus clavatus is a species of fungus that belongs to the genus Aspergillus, which comprises a large group of filamentous fungi that are widely distributed in nature and have diverse ecological roles. Aspergillus clavatus is characterized by its elongated club-shaped vesicles and its blue-green uniseriate conidia, which are the asexual spores that are produced and dispersed by the fungus. The conidia are very small, measuring about 3–4.5 x 2.5–4.5 μm, and can be easily inhaled by humans and animals.

Aspergillus clavatus was first described scientifically in 1834 by the French mycologist John Baptiste Henri Joseph Desmazières, who named it after its clavate (club-like) shape of the conidial heads. It belongs to the Aspergillus section Clavati, which includes six other species that share similar morphological features. In 2018, a sexual stage of Aspergillus clavatus was discovered and described with a Neocarpenteles teleomorph, but under the one fungus-one name convention, the original name of Aspergillus clavatus was retained.

Aspergillus clavatus is found in soil and animal manure, where it grows and thrives in humid environments and temperatures of 25°C. It can also grow in a wide range of temperatures, from 5°C to 42°C, and can tolerate low water activity. It is commonly associated with cultivated crops such as barley, potatoes, sugarcane, cotton, and legumes, as well as stored cereals such as rice, corn, and millet. It can also be found in wet or moist areas such as bathrooms, kitchens, basements, and air conditioning systems.

Aspergillus clavatus is not only an environmental fungus but also a potential pathogen and toxin producer. It can cause allergic reactions and pulmonary diseases in humans and animals who inhale its spores or come into contact with its mycelia. It can also produce mycotoxins such as patulin, tryptoquivalones, and cytochalasin E, which can have harmful effects on the health of humans and animals who consume contaminated food or drink. Besides its pathogenic and toxic properties, Aspergillus clavatus also has some beneficial aspects. It can produce antimicrobial metabolites that are used in pharmaceutical industries, such as clavatolides and clavatustatins. It can also degrade lignocellulosic biomass and produce enzymes that are useful for biotechnological applications.