The black mould Stachybotrys chartarum and its mycotoxins have been linked to damp building-associated illnesses. The objective of this study was to determine the effects of water availability (water activity, aw) and temperature on growth and production of satratoxin G (SG) by a macrocyclic trichothecene-producing strain (IBT 7711) and non-producing strain (IBT 1495) of S. chartarum. Growth studies were carried out on potato dextrose agar modified with glycerol to 0.995-0.92 aw at 10-37 °C. Growth extension was measured and the cultures were extracted after 10 days and a competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) method used to quantify the SG content. Growth was optimal at 25 to 30 °C at 0.995 aw, but this was modified to 0.98 aw at 30 °C for both strains (1.4- 1.6 mm/day, respectively). The ELISA method revealed that, in contrast to growth, SG production was maximal at 20 °C with highest production at 0.98 aw (approximately 250 μg/g mycelia). When water was freely available (0.995 aw), SG was maximally produced at 15 °C and decreased as temperature was increased. Interestingly, the strain classified as a non-toxigenic produced very low amounts of SG (<1.6 μg/g mycelia) that were maximal at 25 °C and 0.98 aw. Contour maps for growth and SG production were developed from these data sets. These data have shown, for the first time, that growth and SG production profiles are very different in relation to key environmental conditions in the indoor environment. This will be very useful in practically determining the risk from exposure to S. chartarum and its toxins in the built env
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