Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation


Toxicity of Fungal Pigments from Chlorociboria spp. and Scytalidium spp. Public Deposited

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  • Commercial methodologies for producing fungal pigments are of worldwide interest due to the desire to move away from synthetic dyes. Chlorociboria species and Scytalidium species have been reported to produce sufficient yields of pigments for commercial production and have attracted special attention because of their use in spalted wood applications. However, there are few data about the toxicity of these pigments on humans or the ecosystem. The main objective of this thesis was to examine fungal pigment mixture toxicity and its effects on living organisms using a zebrafish embryo acute toxicity bioassay. Pigment mixtures from wood agar cultures and liquid malt media were screened. There were significant adverse effects from both the DCM-extracted pigment and the liquid malt medium although there was variability in the toxicity endpoints. The results from this study suggest that all dichloromethane (DCM) pigment extracts followed a dose response curve and caused higher mortality in higher concentrations after a short time of exposure except the DCM-red pigment extract which follow a non monotonic dose response curve. The response from both DCM pigment extracts and liquid malt pigment depended on the solubility and bioavailability factors in the water. Overall, the results indicate that the pigments extracted from these fungi are likely toxic to humans. However, as no completely purified compounds were tested, it is possible that other secondary fungal metabolites and wood extractives that were also retrieved during the extraction process might also have played a role in the toxicity.
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