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Heat stress in macrofungi: effects and response mechanisms


Temperature is one of the key factors that affects the growth and development of macrofungi. Heat stress not only negatively affects the morphology and growth rate of macrofungi, but also destroys cell structures and influences cell metabolism. Due to loosed structure of cell walls and increased membrane fluidity, which caused by heat stress, the outflow of intracellular nutrients makes macrofungi more vulnerable to invasion by pathogens. Macrofungi accumulate reactive oxygen species (ROS), Ca2+, and nitric oxide (NO) when heat-stressed, which transmit and amplify the heat stimulation signal through intracellular signal transduction pathways. Through regulation of some transcription factors including heat response factors (HSFs), POZCP26 and MYB, macrofungi respond to heat stress by different mechanisms. In this paper, we present mechanisms used by macrofungi to adapt and survive under heat stress conditions, including antioxidant defense systems that eliminate the excess ROS, increase in trehalose levels that prevent enzymes and proteins deformation, and stabilize cell structures and heat shock proteins (HSPs) that repair damaged proteins and synthesis of auxins, which increase the activity of antioxidant enzymes. All of these help macrofungi resist and adapt to heat stress.

Key points

• The effects of heat stress on macrofungal growth and development were described.

• The respond mechanisms to heat stress in macrofungi were summarized.

• The further research directions of heat stress in macrofungi were discussed.

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This research was supported by a grant from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31772375) to Aimin Ma.

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All authors contributed to this study. LL and AM had the ideas for the article and performed the literature search and data analysis. LL wrote the manuscript. SZ, JW, XS, and AM critically reviewed the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Aimin Ma.

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This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

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The authors declare no competing interests.


The views stated here are ours and ours only. We apologize if we failed to mention other significative research from other mechanisms of macrofungi in response to heat stress and if our interpretation of the data is not accepted by other researchers.

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Luo, L., Zhang, S., Wu, J. et al. Heat stress in macrofungi: effects and response mechanisms. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 105, 7567–7576 (2021).

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  • Heat stress
  • Macrofungi
  • Growth
  • Development
  • Signal transduction
  • Response mechanisms