Fungal Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) and the Genus Aspergillus

K. K. Pennerman, H. S. Al-Maliki, S. Lee, J. W. Bennett

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

10 Scopus citations


Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are low-molecular-weight organic compounds that easily evaporate at room temperature. Some Aspergillus VOCs are responsible for the characteristic musty odors associated with moldy environments while others play an important role in determining the palatability of fermented foods and drinks. Modern instrumentation using gas chromatography and mass spectrometry has improved our ability to characterize fungal VOC profiles and their analyses are important components of metabolomic studies. Aspergillus volatiles can be used as supplemental characters in chemotaxonomy. They provide a nondestructive strategy for detecting the presence of fungal growth. They have been used to discover cryptic molds in the indoor environments; to detect contamination of stored food crops; and are under investigation as a possible medical diagnostic tool for aspergillosis. Furthermore, there is growing recognition that fungal VOCs are vital molecules in mediating intra- and intercellular signaling, within and between organisms. Nevertheless, many gaps remain in our scientific understanding of VOCs from Aspergillus and other molds.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationNew and Future Developments in Microbial Biotechnology and Bioengineering
Subtitle of host publicationAspergillus System Properties and Applications
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9780444635136
ISBN (Print)9780444635051
StatePublished - Aug 5 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)


  • Aroma compounds
  • Aspergillosis
  • Indirectly detect aspergillus growth
  • Semiochemicals
  • Volatile organic compounds


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