Penicillium

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Penicillium

 

a genus of Fungi Imperfecti whose ascigerous stage is classified in the order Plectascales. From the vegetative mycelium of members of the genus Penicillium emerge conidio-phores that branch out into racemules at the apex, where chains of colored, unicellular spores, or conidia, are produced. The genus contains approximately 250 species, which are widely distributed in the soil. Fungi of the genus Penicillium induce spoilage in foodstuffs and take part in the decomposition of plant and animal tissue. As do other species of fungi, they form molds. Penicillium chrysogenum and Penicillium notatum are used in the preparation of penicillin, while Penicillium camemberti and Penicillium roqueforti are widely used in cheese-making.