Phoma is a cosmopolitan,
fungus that inhabits the soil and plant material. Phoma species
are common plant pathogens. While they are commonly considered as
contaminants, Phoma species may cause infections in humans in
The genus Phoma
contains several species. However, most of the strains isolated from human
infections have not been identified to species level. The morphological
features such as the color of the colony, morphology of the conidia,
existence and structure of chlamydospores help in species differentiation.
Pathogenicity and Health Effects
species are among the rarely encountered agents of
The infection commonly develops after a trauma. Additionally,
immunosuppression is considered a major risk factor for its development.
These infections may be cutaneous, subcutaneous, corneal, or (rarely)
Growth rate is rapid and colonies are flat, powdery to velvety in texture,
spreading, and frequently submerged in the medium; and
surface colony color is initially white becoming olive gray, sometimes
with a tint of pink while reverse is dark brown to black with a brown
diffusible pigment in some species such as Phoma cruris - hominis
and Phoma herbarum which produce a reddish – purple to yellowish –
brown diffusible pigment on the reverse.
chlamydospores are present;
Hyphae are septate, hyaline to brown while
pycnidia are the fruiting
bodies that are large, dark in color, round to pyriform in shape and with
size ranging from 70 – 100 µm in diameter, and with one to several
openings called the ostioles on their surface from which the conidia are
Conidia are hyaline, oval – shaped, unicellular and each conidium usually
has two oil droplets inside; and
Chlamydospores are brown, may appear in long chains or solitary, and may
either be unicellular or multicellular and alternarioid which resembles
Alternaria in appearance.
precautions are required, no special safety measures needed.
No data are