Oxidative stress in industrial fungi

Q. Li, L.M. Harvey, B. McNeil

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Citations (Scopus)


Fungi are amongst the most industrially important microorganisms in current use within the biotechnology industry. Most such fungal cultures are highly aerobic in nature, a character that has been frequently referred to in both reactor design and fungal physiology. The most fundamentally significant outcome of the highly aerobic growth environment in fermenter vessels is the need for the fungal culture to effectively combat in the intracellular environment the negative consequences of high oxygen transfer rates. The use of oxygen as the respiratory substrate is frequently reported to lead to the development of oxidative stress, mainly due to oxygen-derived free radicals, which are collectively termed as reactive oxygen species (ROS). Recently, there has been extensive research on the occurrence, extent, and consequences of oxidative stress in microorganisms, and the underlying mechanisms through which cells prevent and repair the damage caused by ROS. In the present study, we critically review the current understanding of oxidative stress events in industrially relevant fungi. The review first describes the current state of knowledge of ROS concisely, and then the various antioxidant strategies employed by fungal cells to counteract the deleterious effects, together with their implications in fungal bioprocessing are also discussed. Finally, some recommendations for further research are made.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)199-213
Number of pages14
JournalCritical Reviews in Biotechnology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2009


  • oxidative stress
  • industrial fungi
  • antioxidant
  • dissolved oxygen tension
  • thermal stress


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