The main difference between Aspergillus and Penicillium is that Aspergillus contains an unseparated conidiophore whereas Penicillium contains a separated, brush-like conidiophore. Further, the conidiophore of Aspergillus is straight ending in a large vesicle while that of Penicillium is branched. Also, another difference between Aspergillus and Penicillium is that the Aspergillus is green to black in color whereas Penicillium is blue in color.
Aspergillus and Penicillium are two types of mold that belong to the family Trichocomaceae of the phylum Ascomycota. They produ
Key Areas Covered
1. What is Aspergillus
– Definition, Characteristics
2. What is Penicillium
– Definition, Characteristics
3. What are the Similarities Between Aspergillus and Penicillium
– Outline of Common Features
4. What is the Difference Between Aspergillus and Penicillium
– Comparison of Key Differences
Key Terms: Asexual Reproduction, Aspergillus, Conidiophore, Mold, Penicillium
What is Aspergillus
Aspergillus refers to any genus of ascomycetes fungi with branched, radiate sporophores. It is composed of seven subgenera and about 250 species. Also, it is one of the best known and well-studied mold groups. Aspergillus is a saprophyte that grows on decaying vegetation. The asexual spore-forming structure of Aspergillus or the conidiophore is called the aspergillum, which is a cylindrical structure. Only one-third of the Aspergillus species undergo sexual reproduction.
What is Penicillium
Penicillium refers to a blue mold commonly found on food and used to produce penicillin, an antibiotic. One of the most characteristic features of Penicillium is the presence of dense, brush-like spore-bearing structure. The youngest spores are at the base of the chain.
Ascospores are the sexual spores of Penicillium. The ascocarps are white or yellow in color while ascospores are hyaline. Some Penicillium species are used in cheesemaking.
Similarities Between Aspergillus and Penicillium
- Aspergillus and Penicillium are molds that belong to the family Trichocomaceae of the phylum Ascomycota.
- They are in the order Eurotiales.
- Both are molds composed of fungal hyphae.
- Both show a cosmopolitan distribution
- They form conidiospores during asexual reproduction.
- Some Aspergillus and most Penicillium produce ascospores during sexual reproduction.
- Eight ascospores are held inside asci, completely enclosed ascocarps.
Difference Between Aspergillus and Penicillium
Aspergillus: Any genus of ascomycetes fungi with branched, radiate sporophores
Penicillium: A blue mold commonly found on food and used to produce penicillin, an antibiotic
Color of the Mold
Aspergillus: Green to black
Aspergillus: A straight ending in a large vesicle
Penicillium: Branched conidiophore
Aspergillus: Causes aspergillosis in lungs
Penicillium: Used in the production of antibiotics that are effective against Gram-positive bacteria
Aspergillus consists of an unseparated conidiophore, which is a large vesicle with conidiospores. But, Penicillium consists of a brush-like, separated conidiophore. Aspergillus and Penicillium are two types of mold in the same family. The main difference between Aspergillus and Penicillium is the structure of the conidiophore.
1. Bokulich , Nicholas A, and Charles W Bamforth. Brewing Microbiology: Current Research, Omics and Microbial Ecology. Caister Academic Press, 2017, Available Here
2. “Penicillium.” Penicillium, Available Here
1. “04 03 21a conidiophores, Aspergillus, Penicillium, Eurotiales, Ascomycota (M. Piepenbring)” By M. Piepenbring – M. Piepenbring (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “Penicillium Spp.” By Dr. Sahay – Own work (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia