During the mezcal fermentation process, yeasts are affected by several stresses that can affect their fermentation capability. These stresses, such as thermal shock, ethanol, osmotic and growth inhibitors are common during fermentation. Cells have improved metabolic systems and they express stress response genes in order to decrease the damage caused during the stress, but to the best of our knowledge, there are no published works exploring the effect of oxidants and prooxidants, such as H2O2 and menadione, during growth. In this article, we describe the behavior of Kluyveromyces marxianus isolated from spontaneous mezcal fermentation during oxidative stress, and compared it with that of Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains that were also obtained from mezcal, using the W303-1A strain as a reference. S. cerevisiae strains showed greater viability after oxidative stress compared with K. marxianus strains. However, when the yeast strains were grown in the presence of oxidants in the media, K. marxianus exhibited a greater ability to grow in menadione than it did in H2O2. Moreover, when K. marxianus SLP1 was grown in a minibioreactor, its behavior when exposed to menadione was different from its behavior with H2O2. The yeast maintained the ability to consume dissolved oxygen during the 4 h subsequent to the addition of menadione, and then stopped respiration. When exposed to H2O2, the yeast stopped consuming oxygen for the following 8 h, but began to consume oxygen when stressors were no longer applied. In conclusion, yeast isolated from spontaneous mezcal fermentation was able to resist oxidative stress for a long period of time.
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