Heterologous expression of the Aspergillus nidulans alcR-alcA system in Aspergillus niger

I. Nikolaev, M. Mathieu, P.J.I. van de Vondervoort, J. Visser, B. Felenbok

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18 Citations (Scopus)


The inducible and strongly expressed alcA gene encoding alcohol dehydrogenase I from Aspergillus nidulans was transferred together with the activator gene alcR, in the industrial fungus Aspergillus niger. This latter organism does not possess an inducible alc system but has an endogenously constitutive lowly expressed alcohol dehydrogenase activity. The overall induced expression of the alcA gene was of the same order in both fungi, as monitored by alcA transcription, alcohol dehydrogenase activity and heterologous expression of the reporter enzyme, -glucuronidase. However, important differences in the pattern of alcA regulation were observed between the two fungi. A high basal level of alcA transcription was observed in A. niger resulting in a lower ratio of alcA inducibility. This may be due to higher levels of the physiological inducer of the alc regulon, acetaldehyde, from general metabolism in A. niger which differs from that of A. nidulans.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-97
JournalFungal Genetics and Biology
Publication statusPublished - 2002


  • alcA gene regulation
  • Aspergilli
  • Ethanol utilization genes
  • Heterologous expression


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