Mikrobiol. Z. 2017; 79(1):76-86.
doi: https://doi.org/10.15407/microbiolj79.01.076

Adaptation of Microfungi to Chronic Ionizing Radiation. New Facts and Hypotheses

Tugay T.I., Tugay A.V.

Zabolotny Institute of Microbiology and Virology, NAS of Ukraine
154 Akad. Zabolotny Str., Kyiv, 03143, Ukraine

Analysis of modern data on ecological, physiological and biochemical adaptation of microfungi for living under exposure to chronic radiation is presented in this review. Special attention has been paid to the analysis of adaptive responses of microfungi exposed to high doses (150Gy and 800 Gy), and the formation in such conditions of new radioadaptive properties: radiotropism and radiostimulation. Literature data concerning the possible biochemical mechanisms of microfungi adaptation to the radiation was summarized. A hypothesis was suggested for the frst time providing the basis for microfungi realization of positive reactions to high doses of radiation, such as radiotropism and radiostimulation. One of the ways underlying the positive radiotropism of fungi is their growth in the direction of low (micro and Nano molar) concentrations of hydrogen peroxide, which is locally formed under the infuence of radiation. The hypothesis is supported by the evidence that such low concentrations of hydrogen peroxide created electric feld causing electrochemical changes in the membranes of fungal apexes. This determined their directional movement towards hydrogen peroxide, which was produced by the action of radiation, thus, played a role of attractant and served as a source of additional energy for them. It was shown for the frst time that the antioxidant capacity of melanin in the strains with radioadaptive properties, Cladosporium cladosporioides and Aspergillus versicolor, is 5 to 8 times higher than such in the control strains of these species respectively. It was suggested that the substantial (5.0 – 8.0-fold) increase in the antioxidant capacity of melanin in the strains with radioadaptive properties compared to the control cultures is one of the main mechanisms of implementation of their ability not only to adapt to signifcant (150 Gy, 800 Gy) doses of radiation, but also to positively respond to them. The potential contribution of fungi to determining the fate of radionuclides in the environment and the potential and actual roles of fungi in decomposition of “hot particles” and in site remediation was discussed.

Key words: microfungi, chronic radiation, radiotropism, radioadaptive properties, antioxidant system, melanin.

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