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Issue 10, 2008
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Use of headspace SPME-GC-MS for the analysis of the volatiles produced by indoor molds grown on different substrates

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Abstract

An automated headspace solid phase microextraction method followed by GC-MS analysis was used to evaluate and compare the in vitro production of microbial volatile organic compounds (MVOCs) on malt extract agar, plasterboard and wallpaper. Five fungal strains were isolated from the walls of water-damaged houses and identified. In addition, four other common molds were studied. In general, MVOC production was the highest on malt extract agar. On this synthetic medium, molds typically produced 2-methylpropanol, 2-methylbutanol and 3-methylbutanol. On wallpaper, mainly 2-ethylhexanol, methyl 2-ethylhexanoate and compounds of the C8-complex such as 1-octene-3-ol, 3-octanone, 3-octanol and 1,3-octadiene were detected. The detection of 2-ethylhexanol and methyl 2-ethylhexanoate indicates an enhanced degradation of the substrate by most fungi. For growth on plasterboard, no typical metabolites were detected. Despite these metabolite differences on malt extract agar, wallpaper and plasterboard, some molds also produced specific compounds independently of the used substrate, such as trichodiene from Fusarium sporotrichioides and aristolochene from Penicillium roqueforti. Therefore, these metabolites can be used as markers for the identification and maybe also mycotoxin production of these molds. All five investigated Penicillium spp. in this study were able to produce two specific diterpenes, which were not produced by the other species studied. These two compounds, which remain unidentified until now, therefore seem specific for Penicillium spp. and are potentially interesting for the monitoring of this fungal genus. Further experiments will be performed with other Penicillium spp. to study the possibility that these two compounds are specific for this group of molds.

Graphical abstract: Use of headspace SPME-GC-MS for the analysis of the volatiles produced by indoor molds grown on different substrates

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Publication details

The article was received on 22 May 2008, accepted on 20 Aug 2008 and first published on 08 Sep 2008


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/B808608G
Citation: J. Environ. Monit., 2008,10, 1127-1133
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    Use of headspace SPME-GC-MS for the analysis of the volatiles produced by indoor molds grown on different substrates

    F. Van Lancker, A. Adams, B. Delmulle, S. De Saeger, A. Moretti, C. Van Peteghem and N. De Kimpe, J. Environ. Monit., 2008, 10, 1127
    DOI: 10.1039/B808608G

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