Project description:Aflatoxin B?, a type of highly toxic mycotoxin produced by some species belonging to the Aspergillus genus, such as Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus, is widely distributed in feed matrices. Here, coumarin was used as the sole carbon source to screen microorganism strains that were isolated from types of feed ingredients. Only one isolate (ND-1) was able to degrade aflatoxin B? after screening. ND-1 isolate, identified as a strain of Aspergillus niger using phylogenetic analysis on the basis of 18S rDNA, could remove 26.3% of aflatoxin B? after 48 h of fermentation in nutrient broth (NB). Optimization of fermentation conditions for aflatoxin B? degradation by selected Aspergillus niger was also performed. These results showed that 58.2% of aflatoxin B? was degraded after 24 h of culture under the optimal fermentation conditions. The aflatoxin B? degradation activity of Aspergillus niger supernatant was significantly stronger than cells and cell extracts. Furthermore, effects of temperature, heat treatment, pH, and metal ions on aflatoxin B? degradation by the supernatant were examined. Results indicated that aflatoxin B? degradation of Aspergillus niger is enzymatic and this process occurs in the extracellular environment.
Project description:A rhamnogalacturonan hydrolase gene of Aspergillus aculeatus was used as a probe for the cloning of two rhamnogalacturonan hydrolase genes of Aspergillus niger. The corresponding proteins, rhamnogalacturonan hydrolases A and B, are 78 and 72% identical, respectively, with the A. aculeatus enzyme. In A. niger cultures which were shifted from growth on sucrose to growth on apple pectin as a carbon source, the expression of the rhamnogalacturonan hydrolase A gene (rhgA) was transiently induced after 3 h of growth on apple pectin. The rhamnogalacturonan hydrolase B gene was not induced by apple pectin, but the rhgB gene was derepressed after 18 h of growth on either apple pectin or sucrose. Gene fusions of the A. niger rhgA and rhgB coding regions with the strong and inducible Aspergillus awamori exlA promoter were used to obtain high-producing A. awamori transformants which were then used for the purification of the two A. niger rhamnogalacturonan hydrolases. High-performance anion-exchange chromatography of oligomeric degradation products showed that optimal degradation of an isolated highly branched pectin fraction by A. niger rhamnogalacturonan hydrolases A and B occurred at pH 3.6 and 4.1, respectively. The specific activities of rhamnogalacturonan hydrolases A and B were then 0.9 and 0.4 U/mg, respectively, which is significantly lower than the specific activity of A. aculeatus rhamnogalacturonan hydrolase (2.5 U/mg at an optimal pH of 4.5). Compared to the A enzymes, the A. niger B enzyme appears to have a different substrate specificity, since additional oligomers are formed.
Project description:Leaf spot was found on field bindweed (Convolvulus arvensis L.) in Shihezi City, Xinjiang Province, China, during the summer of 2015. Pathogens were isolated from the infected leaves of field bindweed and identified as Aspergillus niger based on morphological and molecular analyses (internal transcribed spacer rDNA and β-tubulin gene). A pathogenicity test confirmed that Aspergillus niger caused the healthy leaves of field bindweed to become diseased. To our knowledge, this is the first report of field bindweed infected naturally by A. niger.
Project description:A significant challenge in our understanding of biological systems is the high number of genes with unknown function in many genomes. The fungal genus Aspergillus contains important pathogens of humans, model organisms, and microbial cell factories. Aspergillus niger is used to produce organic acids, proteins, and is a promising source of new bioactive secondary metabolites. Out of the 14,165 open reading frames predicted in the A. niger genome only 2% have been experimentally verified and over 6,000 are hypothetical. Here, we show that gene co-expression network analysis can be used to overcome this limitation. A meta-analysis of 155 transcriptomics experiments generated co-expression networks for 9,579 genes (?65%) of the A. niger genome. By populating this dataset with over 1,200 gene functional experiments from the genus Aspergillus and performing gene ontology enrichment, we could infer biological processes for 9,263 of A. niger genes, including 2,970 hypothetical genes. Experimental validation of selected co-expression sub-networks uncovered four transcription factors involved in secondary metabolite synthesis, which were used to activate production of multiple natural products. This study constitutes a significant step towards systems-level understanding of A. niger, and the datasets can be used to fuel discoveries of model systems, fungal pathogens, and biotechnology.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Aspergillus fumigatus is the main causative agent of aspergillosis. Infections rarely occur in immunocompetent individuals, indicating efficient clearance of conidia by pulmonary defense mechanisms. Other aspergilli like Aspergillus niger also cause infections but to a much lesser extent. Our previous studies showed that A. fumigatus and A. niger have different behavior in the presence of type II alveolar A549 epithelial cells. A. fumigatus conidia are more efficiently internalized by these cells and germination is delayed when compared to A. niger. In addition, hyphae that have escaped the epithelial cells grow parallel to the epithelium, while A. niger grows away from this cell layer. RESULTS:Here it is shown that global gene expression of A. fumigatus and A. niger is markedly different upon contact with A549 cells. A total of 545 and 473 genes of A. fumigatus and A. niger, respectively, were differentially expressed when compared to growth in the absence of A549 cells. Notably, only 53 genes (approximately 10%) were shared in these gene sets. The different response was also illustrated by the fact that only 4 out of 75 GO terms were shared that were enriched in the differentially expressed gene sets. The orthologues of A. fumigatus genes involved in hypoxia regulation and heat shock were also up-regulated in A. niger, whereas thioredoxin reductase and allergen genes were found up-regulated in A. fumigatus but down-regulated in A. niger. Infection with A. fumigatus resulted in only 62 up and 47 down-regulated genes in A549. These numbers were 17 and 34 in the case of A. niger. GO terms related with immune response were down-regulated upon exposure to A. fumigatus but not in the case of A. niger. This indicates that A. fumigatus reprograms A549 to be less immunologically alert. CONCLUSIONS:Our dual transcriptomic analysis supports earlier observations of a marked difference in life style between A. fumigatus and A. niger when grown in the presence of type II epithelial cells. The results indicate important differences in gene expression, amongst others down regulation of immune response genes in lung epithelial cells by A. fumigatus but not by A niger.
Project description:The Aspergillus niger genome contains a large repertoire of genes encoding carbohydrate active enzymes (CAZymes) that are targeted to plant polysaccharide degradation enabling A. niger to grow on a wide range of plant biomass substrates. Which genes need to be activated in certain environmental conditions depends on the composition of the available substrate. Previous studies have demonstrated the involvement of a number of transcriptional regulators in plant biomass degradation and have identified sets of target genes for each regulator. In this study, a broad transcriptional analysis was performed of the A. niger genes encoding (putative) plant polysaccharide degrading enzymes. Microarray data focusing on the initial response of A. niger to the presence of plant biomass related carbon sources were analyzed of a wild-type strain N402 that was grown on a large range of carbon sources and of the regulatory mutant strains ?xlnR, ?araR, ?amyR, ?rhaR and ?galX that were grown on their specific inducing compounds.The cluster analysis of the expression data revealed several groups of co-regulated genes, which goes beyond the traditionally described co-regulated gene sets. Additional putative target genes of the selected regulators were identified, based on their expression profile. Notably, in several cases the expression profile puts questions on the function assignment of uncharacterized genes that was based on homology searches, highlighting the need for more extensive biochemical studies into the substrate specificity of enzymes encoded by these non-characterized genes. The data also revealed sets of genes that were upregulated in the regulatory mutants, suggesting interaction between the regulatory systems and a therefore even more complex overall regulatory network than has been reported so far.Expression profiling on a large number of substrates provides better insight in the complex regulatory systems that drive the conversion of plant biomass by fungi. In addition, the data provides additional evidence in favor of and against the similarity-based functions assigned to uncharacterized genes.
Project description:The filamentous fungus Aspergillus niger is widely exploited as an important expression host for industrial production. The glucoamylase high-producing strain A. niger CICC2462 has been used as a host strain for the establishment of a secretion expression system. It expresses recombinant xylanase, mannase and asparaginase at a high level, but some high secretory background proteins in these recombinant strains still remain, such as alpha-amylase and alpha-glucosidase; lead to a low-purity of fermentation products. The aim was to construct an A. niger host strain with a low background of protein secretion.The transcription factor amyR was deleted in A. niger CICC2462, and the results from enzyme activity assays and SDS-PAGE analysis showed that the glucoamylase and amylase activities of the ∆amyR strains were significantly lower than those of the wild-type strain. High-throughput RNA-sequencing and shotgun LC-MS/MS proteomic technology analysis demonstrated that the expression of amylolytic enzymes was decreased at both the transcriptional and translational levels in the ∆amyR strain. Interestingly, the ∆amyR strain growth rate better than the wild-type strain.Our findings clearly indicated that the ∆amyR strain of A. niger CICC2462 can be used as a host strain with a low background of protein secretion.
Project description:We report the cloning and characterization of a gene encoding a ferulic acid esterase, faeA, from Aspergillus niger and Aspergillus tubingensis. The A. niger and A. tubingensis genes have a high degree of sequence identity and contain one conserved intron. The gene product, FAEA, was overexpressed in wild-type A. tubingensis and a protease-deficient A. niger mutant. Overexpression of both genes in wild-type A. tubingensis and an A. niger protease-deficient mutant showed that the A. tubingensis gene product is more sensitive to degradation than the equivalent gene product from A. niger. FAEA from A. niger was identical to A. niger FAE-III (C. B. Faulds and G. Williamson, Microbiology 140:779-787, 1994), as assessed by molecular mass, pH and temperature optima, pI, N-terminal sequence, and activity on methyl ferulate. The faeA gene was induced by growth on wheat arabinoxylan and sugar beet pectin, and its gene product (FAEA) released ferulic acid from wheat arabinoxylan. The rate of release was enhanced by the presence of a xylanase. FAEA also hydrolyzed smaller amounts of ferulic acid from sugar beet pectin, but the rate was hardly affected by addition of an endo-pectin lyase.