Fungi that decompose hair?...........

Lester Pasarell Lester.Pasarell at
Wed Jan 29 09:31:58 EST 1997

At 11:23 AM 1/29/97 +0000, you wrote:
>In article <32ECF121.74B6 at> "Achim Recktenwald, PhD" <achim at>
>>From: "Achim Recktenwald, PhD" <achim at>
>>Subject: Re: Fungi that decompose hair?...........
>>Date: Mon, 27 Jan 1997 13:17:07 -0500
>>Austin Reade wrote:
>>> Presumably hair is fairly resistant to microbial breakdown (keratin,
>>> disulphide bonds ?). 
>>Is this just a guess or do you have some data to support this?
>It's probably true, but not particularly relevant. My experience of fungi is 
>that between them they can eat just about anything. I have no doubt that, in 
>time, we'll see mould growing on old PET coke bottles.
>Jonathan Depree,
>Lincoln University, P.O. Box 84, Canterbury, New Zealand.
>Socrates was a famous Greek Teacher who went around giving
>people advice. They killed him.   (school history howler)

Funny...I guess a previous message that I posted about fungi and hair was
not received by some in the newsgroup ...but hair is fairly consumed by
fungi in the genus Chysosporium , Trychophyton, Microsporum and
Epidermophyton...almost all of them with synamorphs in the
ascomycetes........many of the genera are also known as the agents of
ringworm....since your  epithelial skin also contains keratin. Not all of
them are human or animal if you want to isolate a new genus
just put some sterile horse, cat or human hair in top of some soil from
anywhere on earth and you will probably isolate some keratinophilic
fungi....... (-:   

......I  would  still prefer the smell of drano in my  hair clogged pipes
than the smell that some keratinophilic fungi produce when in contact with smells like a old rotten fish....

and yep they do grow on plastic coke bottles...just give them some time....

you all have fun with your project of unclogging pipes.....


Lester Pasarell-Luiggi                        
Medical Mycology Reference Laboratory 
Department of Pathology                           
University of Texas Medical Branch            
Galveston, Tx 77555-0609                (for work)  (for fun)
e-mail= lpasarel at

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