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This involves a detailed study of microscopic structures (size and shape of conidia, conidiogenesis, etc.) and the macroscopic characteristics of the colonies (colony diameter, texture, colour, medium-diffusible pigment production, exudate production, etc.).

The techniques for physiological and biochemical studies vary depending on the microbial group, but basically include:

  • Growth and appearance in different media
  • Growth at different temperatures
  • Assimilation or usability of various compounds as sole carbon source or nitrate under aerobic conditions
  • Growth at high glucose concentrations
  • Production of secondary metabolites, such as detection of cyclopiazonic acid production or other related alkaloids by the Ehrlich reaction (Lund, 1995)

Necessary material

Active culture of the strain (Petri dish or slant).


In the absence of universal methods for all taxonomic groups, the most suitable methodology is determined for each strain, employing approved and standardized techniques.


  • Barnett JA, Payne RW, Yarrow D (2000). Yeast: Characteristics and identification. 3rd ed. Cambridge University Press.
  • de Hoog GS, Guarro J, Gené J, Figueras MJ (2005). Atlas of Clinical Fungi. Centraalbureau voor Schimmelcultures-Universitat Rovira i Virgili.
  • de Hoog GA, Guarro J, Gené J, Figueras MJ (2011). Atlas of Clinical Fungi. Electronic version 3.1.
  • Klich MA (2002). Identification of common Aspergillus species. Centraalbureau voor Schimmelcultures. The Netherlands.
  • Kubicek, C. P and Harman G.E. (1998). Trichoderma and Gliocladium. Vol. 1: Basic biology, taxonomy and genetics. pp -1-278. Taylor & Francis Ltd., London, UK.
  • Kurtzman CP, Fell JW, Boekhout T (2011). The Yeasts: A Taxonomic Study. 5th ed. Elsevier Science.
  • Lund, F. 1995. Differentiating Penicillium species by detection of indole metabolites using a filter paper method. Letters in Applied Microbiology, 20:228–231.
  • Samson RA, Hoekstra ES, Frisvad JC (2004). Introduction to Food- and Air-Borne Fungi. 7th ed. Centraalbureau voor Schimmelcultures. The Netherlands.
  • Samson, R.A. and Frisvad, J.C (2004). Penicillium subgenus Penicillium: new taxonomic schemes, mycotoxins and other extrolites. Studies in Mycology, 49:1-173.
  • Simmons EG (2007). Alternaria. An Identification Manual. CBS Biodiversity Series 6.
  • St-Germain G, Summerbell R (1996). Identifying Filamentous Fungi. Star Publishing Company. California, USA.


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