Unusual thermal resistance of spores of mesophilic fungi

T. Rajamani, M. B. Govinda Rajulu, T. S. Murali, T. S. Suryanarayanan

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Thermophilic fungi are well-known for their ability to grow at high temperatures of 50–60oC. However, our previous research demonstrated the exceptional thermal resistant capability of the spores of some mesophilic fungi. These fungi, isolated from leaf litters of forests that experience frequent ground fires, were resistant to dry heat at 100–115oC. To determine whether these high thermal resistant spores are unique to fungi in flammable forests, we screened leaf endophytes of trees of a mangrove forest that rarely experience ground fire due to its inundated forest floor. Of the 129 endophyte isolates tested, the spores (conidia/ascospores) of 27 and 13 isolates survived an exposure to dry heat at 100oC for 2 hrs and 4 hrs respectively. The ascospores of Chaetomium globosum isolated from the leaves of Rhizophora stylosa survived an exposure to 100oC for 10 h. Presence of melanin synthesis inhibitor reduced the thermal resistance in this fungus suggesting that melanin plays a role in the thermal protection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalAsian Journal of Mycology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Forestry
  • Plant Science
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (miscellaneous)


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