We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Phoma?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 21, 2024
Our promise to you
All The Science is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At All The Science, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Phoma is a fungal genus classified within the molds with over 200 known species, found all over the world. These fungi classically live in the soil, and they may periodically infest plants by attaching themselves to the roots of the plants and colonizing the plant from there. It can be difficult to firmly identify fungi in the Phoma genus, and to narrow down the identification to species, and these fungi may occasionally be confused with examples from other genera. This is a common problem with molds and fungi, as the differences between species can be too subtle to identify in the field or without the proper equipment.

These fungi reproduce asexually, and they are what is known as dematiaceous, meaning that they have melanin in their cell walls. This causes Phoma to appear dark in color, especially when they are massed in a large colony. A colony can spread very rapidly under the right conditions, classically growing into the substrate so that it can be difficult to separate the fungus from the material it grows on. Phoma is sometimes seen indoors on walls, where it can be very destructive.

A classic colony has a velvety texture which can be slightly powdery, depending on the species. It may be white to gray with pink, yellow, and reddish purple colorations. Phoma mold produces distinctively rounded fruiting bodies which can be clearly seen under a microscope, and the spores are single celled. Left unchecked, Phoma will happily spread to cover an area.

In plants, Phoma species are common pathogens. The fungi can cause a condition known as Phoma blight, characterized by a withering and fading of the leaves of the plant. The blight will eventually kill the plant, and it can spread to other plants and trees in the vicinity. Phoma blight can be a very serious problem for nurseries, as the fungus may spread across a wide area before people realize what the problem is, and it will happily lie in wait in the soil until plants are returned to the area, causing a recurrence of the initial blight.

In humans, exposure to some Phoma species can trigger mold allergies, especially when the fungus grows indoors. Respiratory infections can also occur along with phaeohyphomycosis, a subcutaneous skin infection which causes discoloration of the skin as the fungus grows inside the layers of skin. Antifungal drugs and debridement of the site are used to treat this skin infection. Animals can also develop phaeohyphomycosis infections.

All The Science is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a All The Science researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments

By anon35610 — On Jul 06, 2009

I went to an allergist today and one of my test came up that I had a reaction to phoma. Could I get this from a house plant that I had outside? I have got a rash the last 2 years. from April to Oct. I don't know if this is something in the yard or just what's going on. We moved 2 years. ago and have 4 acres with a lot of trees. I never had this problem before but at the same time my test said I was allergic to cats. I'm just beside myself. I love to be in the dirt, planting, etc... what do you suggest?

Mary McMahon

Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Learn more
All The Science, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

All The Science, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.