The Effect of Hydrogen Peroxide on the Growth of Microscopic Mycelial Fungi Isolated from Habitats with Different Levels of Radioactive Contamination


The effect of hydrogen peroxide (10−9–10−1 M) on the mycelial growth of the fungi Alternaria alternata, Cladosporium cladosporioides, Mucor hiemalis, and Paecilomyces lilacinus has been studied. The growth of fungi isolated from habitats with a background level of radioactive contamination was stopped by H2O2 concentrations equal to 10−3 and 10−2 M, whereas the growth of fungi that were isolated from habitats with high levels of radioactive contamination was only arrested by 10−1 M H2O2. The response of the different fungi to hydrogen peroxide was of three types: (1) a constant growth rate of fungal hyphae at H2O2 concentrations between 10−9 and 10−4 M and a decrease in this rate at 10−3 M H2O2, (2) a gradual decrease in the growth rate as the H2O2 concentration was increased, and (3) an increase in the growth rate as the H2O2 concentration was increased from 10−6 to 10−5 M. The melanin-containing species A. alternata and C. cladosporioides exhibited all three types of growth response to hydrogen peroxide, whereas the light-pigmented species M. hiemalis and P. lilacinus showed only the first type of growth response. A concentration of hydrogen peroxide equal to 10−1 M was found to be lethal to all of the fungi studied. The most resistant to hydrogen peroxide was found to be the strain A. alternata 56, isolated from the exclusion zone of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.


  1. 1.

    Korystov, Yu.N., Contributions of the Direct and Indirect Effects of Ionizing Radiation to Reproductive Cell Death, Radiat. Res., 1992, vol. 129, no.2, pp. 228–234.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  2. 2.

    Burlakova, E.B., Mikhailov, V.F., and Mazurik, V.K., System of Redox Homeostasis in the Radiation-induced Genome Instability, Radiats. Biol. Radioekol., 2001, vol. 41, No.5, pp. 489–499.

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  3. 3.

    Gamalei, I.A. and Klyubin, N.N., Hydrogen Peroxide as a Signal Molecule, Tsitologiya, 1996, vol. 38, no.12, pp. 1233–1247.

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  4. 4.

    Hansberg, W. and Aguirre, J., Hyperoxidant States Cause Microbial Cell Differentiation by Cell Isolation from Dioxygen, J. Theor. Biol., 1990, vol. 142, no.2, pp. 287–293.

    Google Scholar 

  5. 5.

    Sidery, M. and Georgiou, Ch.D., Differentiation and Hydrogen Peroxide Production in Sclerotium rolfsii Are Induced by the Oxidizing Growth Factors, Light, and Iron, Mycologia, 2000, vol. 92, no.6, pp. 1033–1042.

    Google Scholar 

  6. 6.

    Aslanidi, K.B., Ivanova, A.E., Blazheevskaya, Yu.V., Zhdanova, N.N., and Belozerskaya, T.A., Resistance of Microscopic Fungi to Oxidative Stress, Dokl. Akad. Nauk, 2003, vol. 392, no.1, pp. 119–122.

    Google Scholar 

  7. 7.

    Radiation Conditions, in Report on the State of Natural Environment in the Russian Federation in 2000, Moscow: Min. Prir. Res. RF, 2001, section 7, pp. 51–56.

  8. 8.

    Metody pochvennoi mikrobiologii i biokhimii (Methods in Soil Microbiology and Biochemistry), Moscow: Mosk. Gos. Univ., 1991, p. 304.

  9. 9.

    Aslanidi, K.B., Vachadze, D.M., Zamyatnin, A.A., Pozharskaya, T.R., Rochev, Yu.A., Selezneva, I.I., Tsyganov, M.A., and Chailakhyan, L.M., Compartmentation Determines Dynamics of Multicellular System's Growth, Membrane Cell Biology, 1996, vol. 10, no.3, pp. 311–321.

    Google Scholar 

  10. 10.

    Ichise, N., Morita, N., Hoshino, T., Kawasaki, K., Yumoto, I., and Okuyama, H., A Mechanism of Resistance to Hydrogen Peroxide in Vibrio rumoiensis S-1, Appl. Environ. Microbiol., 1999, vol. 65, no.1, pp. 73–79.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  11. 11.

    Bruskov, V.I., Masalimov, Zh.K., and Chernikov, A.V., Formation of Reactive Oxygen Species in Water under the Action of Heat, Dokl. Akad. Nauk, 2002, vol. 384, no.6, pp. 821–824.

    Google Scholar 

  12. 12.

    Variance Analysis, in Komp'yuternaya biometrika (Computer Biometrics), Moscow: Mosk. Gos. Univ., 1990, pp. 116–130.

  13. 13.

    Zhdanova, N.N., Zakharchenko, V.A., Vember, V.V., and Nakonechnaya, L.T., Fungi from Chernobyl: Mycobiota of the Inner Regions of the Containment Structure of the Damaged Nuclear Reactor, Mycol. Res., 2000, vol. 104, no.11, pp. 1421–1426.

    Google Scholar 

  14. 14.

    Ostrowski, M., Cavicchioli, R., Blaauw, M., and Gottschalk, J.C., Specific Growth Rate Plays a Critical Role in Hydrogen Peroxide Resistance of the Marine Oligotrophic Ultramicrobacterium Sphingomonas alaskensis Strain RB2256, Appl. Environ. Microbiol., 2001, vol. 67, no.3, pp. 1292–1299.

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  15. 15.

    Sentsova, O.Yu. and Maksimov, V.A., The Effect of Heavy Metals on Microorganisms, Usp. Mikrobiol., 1985, no. 20, pp. 227–252.

  16. 16.

    Wagner, S., Hussain, M.Z., Hunt, T.K., Bacic, B., and Becker, H.D., Stimulation of Fibroblast Proliferation by Lactate-Mediated Oxidants, World Repair Regeneration, 2004, vol. 12, no.3, pp. 368–373.

    Google Scholar 

  17. 17.

    Eidus, L.Kh., Membrannyi mekhanizm biologicheskogo deistviya malykh doz: Novyi vzglyad na problemu (A Membrane Mechanism of the Biological Effect of Low Radiation Doses: A New Insight into the Problem), Moscow: Inst. Teoret. Eksperim. Biofiz., 2001, p. 82.

    Google Scholar 

  18. 18.

    Samuilov, V.D., Bezryadnov, D.V., Gusev, M.V., Kitashev, A.V., and Fedorenko, T.A., H2O2 Inhibits the Growth of Cyanobacteria, Biokhimiya, 1999, vol. 64, no.1, pp. 60–67.

    Google Scholar 

  19. 19.

    Mousavi, S.A. and Robson, G.D., Oxidative and Amphotericin B-Mediated Cell Death in the Opportunistic Pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus Is Associated with an Apoptotic-Like Phenotype, Microbiology, 2004, vol. 150, no.6, pp. 1937–1945.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  20. 20.

    Medentsev, A.G., Arinbasarova, A.Yu., and Akimenko, V.K., Adaptation of the Phytopathogenic Fungus Fusarium decemcellulare to Oxidative Stress, Mikrobiologiya, 2001, vol. 70, no.1, pp. 34–38.

    CAS  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to A. E. Ivanova.

Additional information


Translated from Mikrobiologiya, Vol. 74, No. 6, 2005, pp. 756–765.

Original Russian Text Copyright © 2005 by Ivanova, Aslanidi, Karpenko, Belozerskaya.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Ivanova, A.E., Aslanidi, K.B., Karpenko, Y.V. et al. The Effect of Hydrogen Peroxide on the Growth of Microscopic Mycelial Fungi Isolated from Habitats with Different Levels of Radioactive Contamination. Microbiology 74, 655–663 (2005).

Download citation

Key words

  • microscopic fungi
  • growth
  • hydrogen peroxide