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Indoor Air. 2017 May;27(3):518-528. doi: 10.1111/ina.12350. Epub 2016 Nov 12.

Volatile organic compounds emitted by filamentous fungi isolated from flooded homes after Hurricane Sandy show toxicity in a Drosophila bioassay.

Author information

1
College of Biological Sciences and Biotechnology, Beijing Forestry University, Beijing, China.
2
Department of Plant Biology and Pathology, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick, NJ, USA.
3
Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Piscataway, NJ, USA.

Abstract

Superstorm Sandy provided an opportunity to study filamentous fungi (molds) associated with winter storm damage. We collected 36 morphologically distinct fungal isolates from flooded buildings. By combining traditional morphological and cultural characters with an analysis of ITS sequences (the fungal DNA barcode), we identified 24 fungal species that belong to eight genera: Penicillium (11 species), Fusarium (four species), Aspergillus (three species), Trichoderma (two species), and one species each of Metarhizium, Mucor, Pestalotiopsis, and Umbelopsis. Then, we used a Drosophila larval assay to assess possible toxicity of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted by these molds. When cultured in a shared atmosphere with growing cultures of molds isolated after Hurricane Sandy, larval toxicity ranged from 15 to 80%. VOCs from Aspergillus niger 129B were the most toxic yielding 80% mortality to Drosophila after 12 days. The VOCs from Trichoderma longibrachiatum 117, Mucor racemosus 138a, and Metarhizium anisopliae 124 were relatively non-toxigenic. A preliminary analysis of VOCs was conducted using solid-phase microextraction-gas chromatography-mass spectrometry from two of the most toxic, two of the least toxic, and two species of intermediate toxicity. The more toxic molds produced higher concentrations of 1-octen-3-ol, 3-octanone, 3-octanol, 2-octen-1-ol, and 2-nonanone; while the less toxic molds produced more 3-methyl-1-butanol and 2-methyl-1-propanol, or an overall lower amount of volatiles. Our data support the hypothesis that at certain concentrations, some VOCs emitted by indoor molds are toxigenic.

KEYWORDS:

Drosophila bioassay; Hurricane Sandy; SPME-GC-MS; indoor mold contamination; molds; volatile organic compounds

PMID:
27748984
DOI:
10.1111/ina.12350
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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