Kingdom: Fungi
Phylum: Ascomycota
Class: Eurotiomycetes
Order: Onygenales
Family: Arthrodermataceae
Genus: Trichophyton

Trichophyton is a dermatophyte which inhabits the soil, humans or animals. Related to its natural habitats, the genus includes anthropophilic, zoophilic, and geophilic species. Some species are cosmopolitan and others have a restricted geographic distribution. Most of the Trichophyton species have teleomorphic forms and these teleomorphs are classified in the genus Arthroderma.

The genus Trichophyton have several species. Most common are Trichophyton mentagrophytes, Trichophyton rubrum, Trichophyton schoenleinii, Trichophyton tonsurans, Trichophyton verrucosum, and Trichophyton violaceum.


The genus Trichophyton is characterized by the development of both smooth-walled macro- and microconidia. Macroconidia are mostly borne laterally directly on the hyphae or on short pedicels, and are thin- or thick-walled, clavate to fusiform, and range from 4 to 8 by 8 to 50 um in size. Macroconidia are few or absent in many species. Microconidia are spherical, pyriform to clavate or irregular shape and range from 2 to 3 by 2 to 4 um in size.

Figure: Morphological transitions of T. rubrum.
Dormant conidia were introduced into Sabouraud liquid medium and incubated at 28 C. 0 hour is dormant conidia. The 0 hour to 15 day images were taken at the indicated time-points, and show the morphological transitions with time.


Trichophyton, Microsporum, and Epidermophyton are the causative agents of dermatophytosis and infect the hair, skin and nails. Similar to the other two genera, Trichophyton is a keratinophilic filamentous fungus. Ability to invade keratinized tissue and possession of several enzymes, such as acid proteinases, elastase, keratinases, and other proteinases are the major virulence factors of these fungi.

Trichophyton rubrum is the commonest causative agent of dermatophytosis worldwide, such as tinea capitis, tinea corporis, tinea inguinalis, tinea manus, tinea unguim and tinea pedis.


Yang J., Chen L.H., Wang L.L., Zhang W.L., Liu T., Jin Q., 2007. TrED: the Trichophyton rubrum Expression Database. BMC. Genomics 8: 250.

Liu T., Xu X., Leng W., Xue Y., Dong J., Jin Q., 2014. Analysis of gene expression changes in Trichophyton rubrum after skin interaction. J. Med. Microbiol. 63: 642-648.

Liu T., Ren X., Xiao T., Yang J., Xu X., Dong J., Sun L., Chen R., Jin Q., 2013. Identification and characterisation of non-coding small RNAs in the pathogenic filamentous fungus Trichophyton rubrum. BMC. Genomics 14: 931.

Ren X., Liu T., Dong J., Sun L., Yang J., Zhu Y., Jin Q., 2012. Evaluating de Bruijn graph assemblers on 454 transcriptomic data. PLoS One 7: e51188.

Xu X.Y., Liu T., Leng W.C., Dong J., Xue Y., Yang H., Jin Q., 2011. Global gene expression profiles for the growth phases of Trichophyton rubrum. Sci. China C Life Sci. 54: 675-682.

Zhao R., Bin W., Diao Y., Yang J., Liu T., Peng J.P., Jin Q., 2009. Global transcriptional profiles of Trichophyton rubrum in response to Flucytosine. Sci. China C Life Sci. 52: 1173-1185.

Leng W.C., Liu T., Wang J., Li R., Jin Q., 2009. Expression dynamics of secreted protease genes in Trichophyton rubrum induced by key host's proteinaceous components. Med. Mycol. 47: 759-765.

Wu Y., Yang J., Yang F., Liu T., Leng W.C., Chu Y.L., Jin Q., 2009. Recent dermatophyte divergence revealed by comparative and phylogenetic analysis of mitochondrial genomes. BMC Genomics 10: 238.

Zhang W.L., Yu L., Yang J., Wang L.L., Peng J.P., Jin Q., 2009. Transcriptional profiles of response to terbinafine in Trichophyton rubrum. Appl. Microbiol. Biotechnol. 82: 1123-1130.

Diao Y.J., Zhao R., Deng X.M., Leng W.C., Peng J.P., Jin Q., 2009. Transcriptional profiles of Trichophyton rubrum in response to itraconazole. Med. Mycol. 47: 237-247.

Leng W.C., Liu T., Li R., Yang J., Wei C.D., Zhang W.L., Jin Q., 2008. Proteomic profile of dormant Trichophyton rubrum conidia. BMC Genomics 9: 303.

Yu L., Zhang W.L., Liu T., Wang X., Peng J.P., Li S., Jin Q., 2007. Global gene expression of Trichophyton rubrum in response to PH11B, a novel fatty acid synthase inhibitor. J Appl. Microbiol. 103: 2346-2352.

Zhang W.L., Yu L., Leng W.C., Wang X.K., Wang L.L., Deng X.M., Yang J., Liu T., Peng J.P., Wang J., Li S., Jin Q., 2007. cDNA microarray analysis of the expression profiles of Trichophyton rubrum in response to novel synthetic fatty acid synthase inhibitor PHS11A. Fungal Genet.Biol. 44: 1252-1261.

Yang L., Wang L.L., Peng J.P., Yu L., Liu T., Leng W.C., Yang J., Chen L.H., Zhang W.L., Zhang Q., Qi Y.P., Jin Q., 2007. Comparison between gene expression of conidia and germinating phase in Trichophyton rubrum. Sci. China C Life Sci. 50: 377-84.

Liu T., Zhang Q., Wang L.L., Yu L., Leng W.C., Yang J., Chen L.H., Peng J.P., Ma L., Dong J., Xu X.Y., Xue Y., Zhu Y.F., Zhang W.L., Yang L., Li W.J., Sun L.L., Wan Z., Ding G.H., Yu F.D., Tu K., Qian Z.L., Li R.Y., Shen Y., Li Y.X., Jin Q., 2007. The use of global transcriptional analysis to reveal the biological and cellular events involved in distinct development phases of Trichophyton rubrum conidial germination. BMC Genomics 8: 100.

Yu L., Zhang W.L., Wang L.L., Yang J., Liu T., Peng J.P., Leng W.C., Chen L.H., Li R.Y., Jin Q., 2007. Transcriptional profiles of the responses to Ketoconazole and Amphotericin B in Trichophyton rubrum. Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 51: 144-53.

Wang L.L., Ma L., Leng W.C., Liu T., Yu L., Yang J., Yang L., Zhang W.L., Zhang Q., Dong J., Xue Y., Zhu Y.F., Xu X.Y., Wan Z., Ding G., Yu F., Tu K., Li Y.X, Li R.Y, Shen Y., Jin Q., 2006. Analysis of the Dermatophyte Trichophyton rubrum Expressed Sequence Tags. BMC Genomics 7: 255.

Wang L.L., Ma L., Leng W.C., Yang J., Zhu J.P., Dong J., Xue Y., Wan Z., Li R.Y., Jin Q., 2004. Analysis of part of the Trichophyton rubrum ESTs. Sci. China C Life Sci. 47: 389-395.

  Useful Links

Saccharomyces genome database
Phytopathogenic Fungi and Oomycete EST Database
Medical Mycology
Fungal databases
Tigr fungal databases

  Contact us

The Trichophyton rubrum Expression Database (TrED) was created by the State Key Laboratory for Molecular Virology and Genetic Engineering, Institue of Pathogen Biology, CAMS. If you have any suggestions or comments to the database, please use the following address or e-mail:

6 Rongjing Eastern Street, BDA
Beijing 100176
P. R. China
Tel: 86-10-67877735
Fax: 86-10-67877736
E-Mail: yangj#ipbcams.ac.cn


This work is supported by the National High Technology Research and Development Program from the Ministry of Science and Technology of China under grant No. 2006AA020504.