Aspergillus niger var. niger
Aspergillopsis nigra (Tiegh.) Speg.
Rhopalocystis nigra (Tiegh.) Grove
Sterigmatocystis nigra (Tiegh.) Sacc., (1877)
Aspergillus niger is a fungus and one of the most common species of
the genus Aspergillus.
It causes a disease called black mould on certain fruits and
vegetables such as grapes, apricots, onions, and peanuts, and is a
common contaminant of food. It is ubiquitous in soil and is commonly
reported from indoor environments, where its black colonies can be
confused with those of
Stachybotrys (species of which have also been
called "black mould").
Some strains of A. niger have been reported to produce potent
mycotoxins called ochratoxins; other sources disagree, claiming
this report is based upon misidentification of the fungal
species. Recent evidence suggests some true A. niger
strains do produce ochratoxin A. It also produces the isoflavone
2.1 Plant disease
2.2 Human and animal disease
3 Industrial uses
4 Other uses
6 See also
8 External links
A. niger is included in
Aspergillus subgenus Circumdati, section
Nigri. The section Nigri includes 15 related black-spored species that
may be confused with A. niger, including A. tubingensis, A. foetidus,
A. carbonarius, and A. awamori. A number of morphologically
similar species were recently described by Samson et al.
Recently the strain of ATCC 16404
Aspergillus niger has been
Aspergillus brasiliensis (refer to publication by
Varga et al.). This has required an update to the U.S.
Pharmacopoeia and the
European Pharmacopoeia which commonly use this
strain throughout the pharmaceutical industry.
A. niger growing on onion
A. niger causes black mold of onions and ornamental plants. Infection
of onion seedlings by A. niger can become systemic, manifesting only
when conditions are conducive. A. niger causes a common postharvest
disease of onions, in which the black conidia can be observed between
the scales of the bulb. The fungus also causes disease in peanuts and
Human and animal disease
A. niger is less likely to cause human disease than some other
Aspergillus species. In extremely rare instances, humans may become
ill, but this is due to a serious lung disease, aspergillosis, that
Aspergillosis is, in particular, frequent among
horticultural workers who inhale peat dust, which can be rich in
Aspergillus spores. It has been found in the mummies of ancient
Egyptian tombs and can be inhaled when they are disturbed.
A. niger is one of the most common causes of otomycosis (fungal ear
infections), which can cause pain, temporary hearing loss, and, in
severe cases, damage to the ear canal and tympanic membrane.
A. niger growing on SDA
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A. niger is cultured for the industrial production of many substances.
Various strains of A. niger are used in the industrial preparation of
citric acid (E330) and gluconic acid (E574) and have been assessed as
acceptable for daily intake by the World Health Organisation. A. niger
fermentation is "generally recognized as safe" (GRAS) by the United
States Food and Drug Administration under the Federal Food, Drug, and
Many useful enzymes are produced using industrial fermentation of A.
niger. For example, A. niger glucoamylase is used in the production of
high-fructose corn syrup, and pectinases are used in cider and wine
clarification. Alpha-galactosidase, an enzyme that breaks down certain
complex sugars, is a component of Beano and other products that
decrease flatulence. Another use for A. niger within the biotechnology
industry is in the production of magnetic isotope-containing variants
of biological macromolecules for NMR analysis.
A. niger growing from gold-mining solution contained cyano-metal
complexes, such as gold, silver, copper, iron, and zinc. The fungus
also plays a role in the solubilization of heavy-metal sulfides.
Alkali-treated A. niger binds to silver to 10% of dry weight. Silver
biosorbtion occurs by stoichiometric exchange with Ca(II) and Mg(II)
of the sorbent.
For some time it was believed that A. niger was the main agent in the
fermentation of Pu-erh tea. This notion has recently been refuted
through a systematic chromosome analysis of the species attributed to
many East Asian fermentations, including those that involve pu'er,
where the authors have reclassified the organisms involved as
Aspergillus luchuensis. It is apparent that this species does not
have the gene sequence for coding ochratoxin and thus pu'er tea should
be considered safe for human consumption. A. niger is also
cultured for the extraction of the enzyme, glucose oxidase, used in
the design of glucose biosensors, due to its high affinity for
NCBI genome ID
Number of chromosomes
The A. niger ATCC 1015 genome was sequenced by the Joint Genome
Institute in a collaboration with other institutions.
The genomes of two A. niger strains have been fully sequenced.
^ a b Samson RA, Houbraken J, Summerbell RC, Flannigan B, Miller JD
(2001). "Common and important species of fungi and actinomycetes in
indoor environments". Microogranisms in Home and Indoor Work
Environments. CRC. pp. 287–292. ISBN 0415268001.
^ Abarca M, Bragulat M, Castellá G, Cabañes F (1994). "
production by strains of
Aspergillus niger var. niger". Appl Environ
Microbiol. 60 (7): 2650–2. PMC 201698 .
^ Schuster E, Dunn-Coleman N, Frisvad JC, Van Dijck PW (2002). "On the
Aspergillus niger—a review". Applied Microbiology and
Biotechnology. 59 (4–5): 426–35. doi:10.1007/s00253-002-1032-6.
^ Klich MA (2002). Identification of common
Utrecht, The Netherlands, Centraalbureau voor Schimmelcultures.
^ a b Samson, RA, Houbraken JA, Kuijpers AF, Frank JM, Frisvad JC
(2004). "New ochratoxin A or sclerotium producing species in
Aspergillus section Nigri" (PDF). Studies in Mycology. 50:
^ Varga, J.; Kocsube, S.; Toth, B.; Frisvad, J. C.; Perrone, G.;
Susca, A.; Meijer, M.; Samson, R. A. (2007). "
sp. nov., a biseriate black
Aspergillus species with world-wide
distribution". International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary
Microbiology. 57 (8): 1925. doi:10.1099/ijs.0.65021-0.
^ Handwerk, Brian (May 6, 2005) Egypt's "King Tut Curse" Caused by
Tomb Toxins?. National Geographic.
^ "Inventory of
GRAS Notices: Summary of all
GRAS Notices". US
FDA/CFSAN. 2008-10-22. Archived from the original on 11 October 2008.
^ Singh, Harbhajan (2006). Mycoremediation: Fungal Bioremediation.
John Wiley & Sons. p. 509. ISBN 0470050586.
^ Petro, Mike. "Pu-erh, A Westerner's Quest". Retrieved
^ Hong, Seung-Beom; et al. (2013). "
Aspergillus luchuensis, an
industrially important black
Aspergillus in East Asia". PLOS ONE. 8
(5): e63769. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0063769. CS1 maint:
Explicit use of et al. (link)
^ Mogensen, Varga; Thrane; et al. "(30 June 2009) "
from Puerh tea and black tea does not produce ochratoxin A and
fumonisin B2"". International Journal of Food Microbiology. 132
(2–3): 141–144. doi:10.1016/j.ijfoodmicro.2009.04.011. CS1
maint: Explicit use of et al. (link)
^ Staiano, M.; Bazzicalupo, P.; Rossi, M.; d'Auria, S. (2005).
Glucose biosensors as models for the development of advanced
protein-based biosensors". Molecular bioSystems. 1 (5–6): 354–362.
doi:10.1039/b513385h. PMID 16881003.
^ Ghoshdastider U, Wu R, Trzaskowski B, Mlynarczyk K, Miszta P,
Gurusaran M, Viswanathan S, Renugopalakrishnan V, Filipek S (2015).
Glucose Oxidase Dimer by Graphene". RSC
Advances. 5 (18): 13570–78. doi:10.1039/C4RA16852F.
^ "Home –
Aspergillus niger ATCC 1015 v4.0".
^ Pel H, de Winde J, Archer D, et al. (2007). "
Genome sequencing and
analysis of the versatile cell factory
Aspergillus niger CBS 513.88".
Nat Biotechnol. 25 (2): 221–31. doi:10.1038/nbt1282.
^ Andersen MR, Salazar MP, Schaap PJ, et al. (2011). "Comparative
genomics of citric-acid-producing
Aspergillus niger ATCC 1015 versus
enzyme-producing CBS 513.88".
Genome Res. 21 (6): 885–97.
doi:10.1101/gr.112169.110. PMC 3106321 .
Aspergillosis information, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,
US Department of Health and Human Services
A. niger ATCC 1015 genome
Aspergillus website (Manchester University, UK)