Stachybotrys spp. and the guttation phenomenon

Mycotoxin Res. 2014 Aug;30(3):151-9. doi: 10.1007/s12550-014-0193-3. Epub 2014 Mar 12.


The formation of guttation droplets is a long-known property of various fungi. However, their composition, biological function and metabolism in fungi have hardly attracted deeper research interest. The highly toxic mould Stachybotrys (S.) chartarum chemotype S is supposed to play-amongst other factors such as endotoxins and microbial volatile organic compounds (MVOCs)-an important role in indoor air toxicity, mainly after water damage. The way of toxins becoming airborne and leading to exposure via inhalation, however, is still under discussion. We hypothesised that guttation may be a factor for exudation of toxins into the environment. Therefore, selected isolates (n = 15) of our own culture collection of Stachybotrys spp. (S. chartarum chemotype S, S. chartarum chemotype A, S. chlorohalonta) originating from various habitats were cultivated on malt extract agar for 3 weeks. All strains but one produced different amounts of guttation droplets, which were collected quantitatively and subjected to various independent analytical techniques like ELISA, effect-based bioassay (MTT cell culture test) and tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). Actually, the toxigenic isolates (n = 5) produced highly toxic guttation droplets, which was confirmed by all methods. The concentration of macrocyclic trichothecenes, such as satratoxin G and H, ranged between the LOD and 7,160 ng/ml exudate and 280 and 4,610 ng/ml as determined by LC-MS/MS, respectively. According to our knowledge, the ability of S. chartarum to produce toxic exudates is reported for the first time, which possibly plays an important role regarding its toxic potential in indoor environments.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Metabolome
  • Metabolomics / methods
  • Stachybotrys / chemistry
  • Stachybotrys / growth & development
  • Stachybotrys / isolation & purification
  • Stachybotrys / metabolism*
  • Trichothecenes / biosynthesis
  • Trichothecenes / chemistry
  • Trichothecenes / toxicity


  • Trichothecenes