Aspergillus versicolor

March 25, 2014 Anja

Another member of the Aspergillus genus, Aspergillus versicolor is commonly found in soil, hay, cotton, and dairy products. You can frequently find it indoors, particularly on water-damaged buildings or materials such as wallpaper and insulation.

A. versicolor is unique in that it can appear in a wide range of colours. Initially, A. versicolor appears white but turns yellow, tan, pale green, or pink over time. You can often find it in an emerald green colour with a powdery texture. It has a musty or earthy odour and is a common indicator of moisture, humidity and ventilation problems in buildings.

Aspergillus versicolor can produce mycotoxins (sterigmatocystin and cyclopiaxonic acid) that can cause diarrhea and upset stomach. Other symptoms can include eye, nose, and throat irritation. Reported to be a kidney and liver carcinogen, A. versicolor is only occasionally pathogenic.

Interestingly, A. versicolor is capable of growing in conditions of very high salinity and has been found in the arctic regions as well as in the Mir space station and the Dead Sea.