Species diversity and cytotoxic potency of airborne sterigmatocystin-producing Aspergilli from the section Versicolores

Daniela Jakšić Despot, S. Kocsubé, Ottó Bencsik, Anita Kecskeméti, A. Szekeres, C. Vágvölgyi, J. Varga, Maja Šegvić Klarić

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Citations (Scopus)


This study presents the distribution and species diversity of sterigmatocystin-producing Aspergilli from the section Versicolores in the indoor air of apartment-AP, basements-BS and grain mill-GM in Croatia, as well as the cytotoxic potency of isolates. The species comprised 0.7-20% of total airborne fungi detected in the AP, 11-55% in the BS, and 0-2% in the GM. Based on CaM sequences, seven species were identified; dominant were Aspergillus jensenii and Aspergillus creber, followed by Aspergillus protuberus, Aspergillus venenatus, Aspergillus tennesseensis, Aspergillus amoenus, Aspergillus griseoaurantiacus and three undescribed species. All of the identified species produced sterigmatocystin-STC (HPLC/UV-VIS); A. griseoaurantiacus (208.29 μg/mL) and A. jensenii (1.192-133.63 μg/mL) produced the highest levels, the lowest were detected in A. protuberus and A. tennesseensis (0.117-2.749 μg/mL). Lower species diversity was obtained in the GM due to overgrowth with more propulsive fungi. Relatively high STC levels (0.06-2.35 μg/g) detected in 52% of GM dust samples confirmed the presence of STC-producers, although this STC cannot be exclusively attributed to Aspergilli (Versicolores). STC and the majority of STC-producing Aspergilli were cytotoxic to human lung A549 cells (IC50 0.9-2.3 μg/mL) and THP-1 macrophage-like cells (IC50 0.3-0.6 μg/mL) in relatively low concentrations suggesting that humans can be at high risk during chronic exposure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)296-304
Number of pages9
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Publication statusPublished - Aug 15 2016



  • Airborne fungi
  • Cytotoxicity
  • Dust
  • Mycotoxin
  • Sterigmatocystin
  • Versicolores

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Pollution
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Environmental Engineering

Cite this