Role of the osmotic stress regulatory pathway in morphogenesis and secondary metabolism in filamentous fungi

Toxins (Basel). 2010 Apr;2(4):367-81. doi: 10.3390/toxins2040367. Epub 2010 Mar 24.


Environmental stimuli trigger an adaptative cellular response to optimize the probability of survival and proliferation. In eukaryotic organisms from mammals to fungi osmotic stress, mainly through the action of the high osmolarity glycerol (HOG) pathway, leads to a response necessary for adapting and surviving hyperosmotic environments. In this review we show that the osmoadaptative response is conserved but not identical in different fungi. The osmoadaptative response system is also intimately linked to morphogenesis in filamentous fungi, including mycotoxin producers. Previous studies indicate that the response to osmotic stress is also coupled to the biosynthesis of natural products, including mycotoxins.

Keywords: Aspergillus; morphogenesis; osmotic stress; regulation; secondary metabolism.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological
  • Fungi / growth & development*
  • Fungi / metabolism
  • MAP Kinase Signaling System
  • Morphogenesis*
  • Mycotoxins / biosynthesis
  • Osmotic Pressure


  • Mycotoxins