The structure and activity of the penicillus fungus

Penicillum is the most common fungal fungus among all. The Penicillus genus includes a large number of species that are cosmopolitan and are confined more to the soils of the northern latitudes. Present everywhere. It is a producer of a drug from the antibiotic group - penicillin.

The structure and activity of the penicillus fungus

Botanical characteristic

It belongs to the group of mold fungi. The fungal mycelium of penicilla is its vegetative body. Unlike mucor, which has a unicellular character in the structure of the mycelium, penicillin mycelium is multicellular, similar to that of the other group of higher fungi - cap mushrooms. Mycelium is divided by septa - septa. The mycelium consists of a complex of hyphae, represented by chains consisting of individual cells. Mushroom filaments that branch incorrectly are often not colored. Propagated by spores formed at the ends of hyphae in the form of brushes called conidia. They are one-, two- and three-tier and asymmetric.

There are saprotrophic and parasitic organisms in the genus Penicillus.

According to the external description and structure, the penicillus mushroom is similar to aspergillus. The fruiting bodies of penicillium mushrooms have been studied only in individual varieties and are microscopic-sized closed cleistothecia, spherical in shape, rigid in structure, retaining their appearance for several weeks, sometimes months. Coloring is different - white, yellow, orange and brown, in rare cases - black or red.

Some fungal colonies of representatives of the Penicillus genus are able to form sclerotia.

Types of Penicillin Colonies

4 main types are conditionally allocated:

  • Velvety: almost all vegetative parts of hyphae are immersed in agar (nutrient medium, substrate), conidiophores in the form of a dense mass with a velvety appearance are located on the surface of the substrate.
  • Felt or woolly: they have developed air fungal mycelium with sterile white edges, conidiophores branch from air hyphae.
  • With the presence of mycelial cords: their aerial mycelium consists of plexuses of hyphae that rise above the surface of the soil (substrate) and carry branches with conidia on themselves.
  • With the presence of Korea, or bundled: conidiophores are collected in simple aggregated bundles, creating the shape of a large granular mass.

Habitat and living conditions

It is widespread everywhere, including on the ground, vegetation, as well as indoors, often settles on food products and is able to be active, even while being in the air masses. Among the preferred habitats are soil in temperate climates. In this case, the fungal mycelium settles directly on the surface of the substrate or is completely immersed in agar, when only upright or rising spore-bearing fungal threads - conidiophores are visible at the top. In the process of growth, it forms colonies of large size with a certain density.

The fungus is ubiquitous

An example of the appearance of penicillin on foods of plant origin is green mold.

Most species develop at temperatures between 0-5 ° C. There are those that maintain their activity and grow at 37 ° C. To maintain vital processes, many people require a high concentration of oxygen.

Species related to parasites feed on the absorption of finished substances from living organisms. Penicillo species feed on organic debris from dead organisms, foods, fruits, leading to decay. In the process of nutrition, molds initially secrete digestive enzymes to break down organics to the simplest state.


Able to have a negative impact, but applicable in the pharmaceutical and food industries.

Due to the high concentration of enzymes contained, the parasitic fungus leads to spoilage of food products and is involved in the decomposition of animal and plant tissues, causing harm to health and causing allergic reactions. Great damage is caused by damage to agricultural products and feed mixtures if there is a violation of the rules for their storage and favorable conditions for the development of penicilla are created.


In the pharmaceutical industry

Penicillin molds are a natural material for the preparation of penicillin, a member of the antibiotic group.

Irina Selyutina (Biologist):

In the early years of production, penicillin was obtained using fungal strains isolated from natural sources (Penicillium notatum and P. chrysogenum). Then, a mutant strain Q-176 with high productivity was obtained. Highly productive strains are obtained mainly with the help of potent factors - X-rays and UV rays, chemical mutagens. In 1946, penicillin was synthesized, identical to natural, obtained by biological means.

Penicillins produce substances that neutralize and suppress the vital activity of bacteria, preventing the development of prokaryotic organisms.

In the food industry

Some varieties are used in the food industry for cheese making. Under the influence of lipolytic and proteolytic enzyme substances contained in fungi that have an active effect on milk fats and proteins, cheeses acquire a loose and oily structure, specific gastronomic qualities and smell. Such cheeses are blue, characterized by a greenish-bluish color of the cheese mass, obtained using some types of penicillas, the so-called “Noble mold”, for example, Penicillium roqueforti.


Penicilli mushrooms are among the molds. They cause mold on organic products and in an enriched environment with high humidity. Able to harm health. Applicable for pharmacological purposes and produce penicillin killing bacteria, and are also used in the food industry as an enzyme in cheese making.


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