(described by Link ex Steudel in 1824)

Description and Natural Habitats

Epicoccum is a dematiaceous mitosporic mould widely distributed and commonly isolated from air, soil and foodstuff. It is found also in some animals and textiles. It is the common causative agent of leaf spots of various plants.


The genus Epicoccum contains a single species, Epicoccum purpurascens.


See the summary of synonyms for the Epicoccum sp.

Pathogenicity and Clinical Significance

There are no documented cases of Epicoccum infection in humans or animals. Epicoccum is occasionally isolated from clinical samples. However, Epicoccum has not been documented as a pathogen and these isolates are considered as contaminants [1847].

Macroscopic Features

Epicoccum grows rapidly and produces woolly to cottony or felty colonies on potato dextrose agar at 25°C. From the front, the colonies are yellow to orange, orange to red or pink initially and become greenish brown to black by aging. From the reverse, the same color is observed but is usually more intense than in the front view. Epicoccum may produce a diffusable pigment which turns the color of the inoculated medium to yellow, orange, red or brown. Black dots (100-2000 µm in diameter) may be observed macroscopically on the colony surface. These are the tufts of hyphae which have conidiophores on their surface. These tufts of hyphae are cushion-shaped and nonconvoluted and are called sporodochia [1295, 2202].

Microscopic Features

Hyphae, conidiophores, sporodochia, and conidia are visualized. The hyphae are septate and yellow to brown in color. Short conidiophores that originate on hyphae form clusters. These conidiophores branch repeatedly and are visible as dense masses. Conidiophores give rise to conidia. Young conidia are round, nonseptate, and pale in color. Mature conidia (15-25 µm in diameter), on the other hand, are rough, verrucose to warty, and brown to black in color. Besides, mature conidia contain multiple transverse and vertical septa and have a funnel-shaped base and attachment scar that is formed from aggregated conidiophores on the sporodochium. In hardly sporulating strains, sporulation may be induced by growing the isolate under UV light or by inoculating it onto 2{64e6c1a1710838655cc965f0e1ea13052e867597ac43370498029d1bc5831201} water agar [1295, 2202].
Laboratory Precautions

No special precautions other than general laboratory precautions are required.


There are no data on in vitro susceptibility of Epicoccum to antifungal agents. Given the lack of its clinical significance, the relevance of such data is unclear.