Chrysonilia sp.

Genus/species: Chrysonilia sp.

Classification: Ascomycete

Morphology:

  • Cell: hyphae are smooth-walled and septate, lateral branches that form chains of conidia.
  • Colony: Circular form, pale pink
  • Spore: pinkish, irregular, smooth-walled, ovoidal to ellipsoidal
  • Zygote: NA
  • Ascus: long cylindrical ascus with up to 8 ascospores.
  • Liquid Growth: clumpy

Physiological Traits:

Growth substrates are glucose, cellobiose, saccharose, cellulose, lignin.  Its metabolic end product is largely mineralized lignin.

Ecological Traits:

Found in soils.

Distinguishing Features:

Pink/orange colonies on plate. Produces abnormal amounts of spores, often overtaking the entire plate and around the plate. Known as ‘red bread mold.'

Role in wine:

Cork Stabilizer.  Chrysonilia sp. (especially C. sitophilia) is used to colonize corks and outcompete airborne fungi that produce cork taint (2,4,6-trichloroanisole, guaiacol, or 1-octene-3-ol).  Chrysonilia sp. also can degrade the precursor to cork taint, chlorophenols.  Chrysonilia sp. have no known sensory effects on the wine.

Sensitivities

  • SO2: Yes
  • Sorbate­­­­­: unknown
  • DMDC: unknown
  • pH: unknown
  • Acids: no
  • Ethanol: unknown
  • Anaerobiosis: unknown
  • Heat :yes

References:

Marques, J.J. and San Romao, M.V. Role of the Chrysonilia sitophila in the quality of cork stoppers for sealing wine bottles. 2000 J. Ind. Microbiol. 24. 261-266.