Expression profiling of pectinolytic genes from Aspergillus niger

R.P. de Vries, J. Jansen, G. Aguilar, L. Parenicova, V. Joosten, F. Wulfert, J.A.E. Benen, J. Visser

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The expression of 26 pectinolytic genes from Aspergillus niger was studied in a wild type strain and a CreA derepressed strain, under 16 different growth conditions, to obtain an expression profile for each gene. These expression profiles were then submitted to cluster analysis to identify subsets of genes with similar expression profiles. With the exception of the feruloyl esterase encoding genes, all genes were expressed in the presence of -galacturonic acid, polygalacturonate, and/or sugar beet pectin. Despite this general observation five distinct groups of genes were identified. The major group consisted of 12 genes of which the corresponding enzymes act on the pectin backbone and for which the expression, in general, is higher after 8 and 24 h of incubation, than after 2 or 4 h. Two other groups of genes encoding pectin main chain acting enzymes were detected. Two additional groups contained genes encoding -arabinose and -galactose releasing enzymes, and ferulic acid releasing enzymes, respectively. The genes encoding -galactosidase and the -arabinose releasing enzymes were not only expressed in the presence of -galacturonic acid, but also in the presence of -arabinose, suggesting that they are under the control of two regulatory systems. Similarly, the rhamnogalacturonan acetylesterase encoding gene was not only expressed in the presence of -galacturonic acid, polygalacturonate and sugar beet pectin, but also in the presence of -rhamnose. The data presented provides indications for a general pectinolytic regulatory system responding to -galacturonic acid or a metabolite derived from it. In addition, subsets of pectinolytic genes are expressed in response to the presence of -arabinose, -rhamnose or ferulic acid
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-47
JournalFEBS Letters
Publication statusPublished - 2002


  • Aspergillus niger
  • CreA
  • Expression analysis
  • Gene regulation
  • Pectin


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