identify a fuel-loving fungus?

Stephen M. Marek smmarek at ucdavis.edu
Mon Apr 2 03:29:35 EST 2001

Dear Sam,

Fungi are the ultimate assimilators.  One simple rule:  If there's a carbon
source (i.e. petrol), there's a fungus that will eat it.  I believe jet fuel
contains antimicrobial additives just to control fungal and bacterial
contaminants from clogging jet engines.  The fungi growing on fuel are the
typical assortment of genera from soil and air:  Aspergillus, Penicillium,
Cladosporium, Gliocladium, Trichoderma, etc.  Thus, the reason fungi are
used in bioremediation of contaminated soils.  Just leave a open beaker of
water and oil out in the open and you'll eventually catch a spore that will


Steve Marek

<sam.ross at dsto.defence.gov.auANTISPAM> wrote in message
news:99u5re$lfk$1 at news.netmar.com...
> Dear Netter Nutters,
> I see that an earlier post mentions microbial contamination of fuel.
> Several years ago, a microbiologist showed me a large conical flask
>  containing half diesel fuel and half water - at the interface,
> there was growing a large fungus that looked a bit like a faded
> brown moth-eaten sponge.  It was fascinating.  This gentleman
> kept his fungus as a 'pet', but when he retired he took his pet
> with him.  I'm keen to identify what sort of fungus it might have
> been.  Could anyone enlighten me, or point me at any information
> on fungi or other microbes that live happily in
> water-contaminated petrochemical fuel? (The library here has a
> dearth of micro text, these days).
> Sam Ross (jealous biochemist who doesn't have a microbiological pet)
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