Aspergillus niger RhaR, a regulator involved in L-rhamnose release and catabolism

Birgit S Gruben, M. Zhou, A. Wiebenga, Joost Ballering, Karin M Overkamp, Peter J Punt, Ronald P de Vries, J. van den Brink

    Research output: Contribution to journal/periodicalArticleScientificpeer-review


    The genome of the filamentous fungus Aspergillus niger is rich in genes encoding pectinases, a broad class of enzymes that have been extensively studied due to their use in industrial applications. The sequencing of the A. niger genome provided more knowledge concerning the individual pectinolytic genes, but little is known about the regulatory genes involved in pectin degradation. Understanding regulation of the pectinolytic genes provides a tool to optimize the production of pectinases in this industrially important fungus. This study describes the identification and characterization of one of the activators of pectinase-encoding genes, RhaR. Inactivation of the gene encoding this regulator resulted in down-regulation of genes involved in the release of L-rhamnose from the pectin substructure rhamnogalacturonan I, as well as catabolism of this monosaccharide. The rhaR disruptant was unable to grow on L-rhamnose, but only a small reduction in growth on pectin was observed. This is likely caused by the presence of a second, so far unknown regulator that responds to the presence of D-galacturonic acid.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)5531-40
    Number of pages10
    JournalApplied Microbiology and Biotechnology
    Issue number12
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2014

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