Nanoscopic changes in the cell surface morphology of the yeasts Saccharomyces cerevisiae (strain NCYC 1681) and Schizosaccharomyces pombe (strain DVPB 1354), due to their exposure to varying concentrations of hydrogen peroxide (oxidative stress), were investigated using an atomic force microscope (AFM). Increasing hydrogen peroxide concentration led to a decrease in cell viabilities and mean cell volumes, and an increase in the surface roughness of the yeasts. In addition, AFM studies revealed that oxidative stress caused cell compression in both S. cerevisiae and Schiz. pombe cells and an increase in the number of aged yeasts. These results confirmed the importance and usefulness of AFM in investigating the morphology of stressed microbial cells at the nanoscale. The results also provided novel information on the relative oxidative stress tolerance of S. cerevisiae and Schiz. pombe.