DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0//EN" ""> Re: Hi! I am doing my science project on Penicillium mold and penicillin.

MadSci Network: Microbiology

Re: Hi! I am doing my science project on Penicillium mold and penicillin.

Area: Microbiology
Posted By: Jorge Galazzo, Sr.Sci. Molecular Diversity-Fermentation, Microcide Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Moutain View, CA
Date: Mon Feb 10 16:15:45 1997


There are many, many "molds" that grow on fruits. One of them is Penicillium. Penicillium is distinguished by its frequently greenish appearance. If you look at your mold under a microscope (perhaps your Science teacher might help you with this), you will find that your mold has very interesting features. Make drawings of what you see. Penicillium looks like a paint brush under a microscope and that's why it is called Penicillium (from the Latin word "penicillus": paint brush.)

Penicillium produces penicillin, an antibiotic which is used to combat bacterial infections. Penicillin was discovered in 1928 by Alexander Fleming by chance. Fleming, in the process of cleaning his laboratory, observed that a petri dish containing bacteria had been contaminated by a mold. This mold had killed all the bacteria around its vicinity. Fleming conclusion was that the mold had produced a compound which killed the bacteria. Penicillin was born!

Try the following links about penicillin and Penicillium. They have some very nice pictures!
MadSci Answer: 886786455.Mi

Good luck with your project!

J. Galazzo

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