Beat the heat: correlates, compounds, and mechanisms involved in fungal thermotolerance

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Understanding the how behind the polyphyletic trait of fungal thermotolerance has important implications to both medical and industrial pursuits. In this review, our goal is to synthesize research on fungal thermotolerance from industry, biology, and health science to provide an overview of where the field stands. We first consider correlative traits, which may not directly cause thermotolerance but have demonstrated strong associations with it. We then look into the biomolecules involved in sensing and responding to heat shock and/or stress. Lastly, we examine an overview of physiological mechanisms, both natural and man-made, which fungi can use to withstand heat stress both in the moment and among their progeny. Each section makes attempts to list relevant applications of various traits, in addition to potential knowledge gaps that will need to be addressed in future research. This review highlights that, although thermotolerance is a complex concept with diverse manifestations throughout the fungal kingdom, there are multiple patterns in the heat-shock response worthy of further study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)60-75
Number of pages16
JournalFungal Biology Reviews
StatePublished - Jun 2021


  • Fungi
  • Heat sensing
  • Stress-response
  • Thermal microbiology
  • Thermoregulation
  • Yeast

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology


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