Fumonisin B2 Production by Aspergillus niger


Frisvad JC, Smedsgaard J, Samson RA, Larsen TO, Thrane U

Date: 8 November 2007


The carcinogenic mycotoxin fumonisin B 2 was detected for the first time in the industrially important Aspergillus niger. Fumonisin B 2, known from Fusarium verticillioides and other Fusaria, was detected in cultures of three full genome sequenced strains of A. niger, in the ex type culture and in a culture of F. verticillioides by electrospray LC-MS analysis of methanolic extracts from agar plugs of cultures grown on several substrates. Whereas F. verticillioides produced fumonisins B 1, B 2, and B 3 on agar media based on plant extracts, such as barley malt, oat, rice, potatoes, and carrots, A. niger produced fumonisin B 2 best on agar media with a low water activity, including Czapek yeast autolysate agar with 5% NaCl. Of the media tested, only rice corn steep agar supported fumonisin production by both F. verticillioides and A. niger. However, A. niger had a different regulation of fumonisin production and a different quantitative profile of fumonisins, producing only B 2 as compared to F. verticillioides. Fumonisin production by A. niger, which is a widely occurring species and an extremely important industrial organism, will have very important implications for biotechnology and especially food safety. A. niger is used for the production of citric acid and as producer of extracellular enzymes, and also as a transformation host for the expression of heterologous proteins. Certain strains of A. niger produce both ochratoxin A and fumonisins, so some foods and feeds may potentially contain two types of carcinogenic mycotoxins from this species.

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