Aspergillus luchuensis, an industrially important black Aspergillus in East Asia

Seung-Beom Hong, Mina Lee, Dae-Ho Kim, J. Varga, Jens Christian Frisvad, G. Perrone, K. Gomi, O. Yamada, M. Machida, J. Houbraken, Robert A. Samson

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    Abstract

    Aspergilli known as black- and white-koji molds which are used for awamori, shochu, makgeolli and other food and beverage fermentations, are reported in the literature as A. luchuensis, A. awamori, A. kawachii, or A. acidus. In order to elucidate the taxonomic position of these species, available ex-type cultures were compared based on morphology and molecular characters. A. luchuensis, A. kawachii and A. acidus showed the same banding patterns in RAPD, and the three species had the same rDNA-ITS, β-tubulin and calmodulin sequences and these differed from those of the closely related A. niger and A. tubingensis. Morphologically, the three species are not significantly different from each other or from A. niger and A. tubingensis. It is concluded that A. luchuensis, A. kawachii and A. acidus are the same species, and A. luchuensis is selected as the correct name based on priority. Strains of A. awamori which are stored in National Research Institute of Brewing in Japan, represent A. niger (n = 14) and A. luchuensis (n = 6). The neotype of A. awamori (CBS 557.65 = NRRL 4948) does not originate from awamori fermentation and it is shown to be identical with the unknown taxon Aspergillus welwitschiae. Extrolite analysis of strains of A. luchuensis showed that they do not produce mycotoxins and therefore can be considered safe for food and beverage fermentations. A. luchuensis is also frequently isolated from meju and nuruk in Korea and Puerh tea in China and the species is probably common in the fermentation environment of East Asia. A re-description of A. luchuensis is provided because the incomplete data in the original literature.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article numbere63769
    JournalPLOS ONE
    Volume8
    Issue number5
    Number of pages9
    ISSN1932-6203
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2013

    Bibliographical note

    2013 Hong et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

    This work was partly supported by the National Academy of Agricultural Science (NAAS), Rural Development Administration, Republic of Korea (Project no. PJ00866601)

    Keywords

    • ASPERGILLUS
    • ASPERGILLUS AWAMORI
    • ASPERGILLUS KAWACHII
    • ASPERGILLUS NIGER
    • ASPERGILLUS TUBINGENSIS
    • DRIED FOODS
    • FOOD SAFETY
    • MEJU
    • NURUK
    • PU-ERH TEA
    • SOY PRODUCTS
    • STARTERS
    • STRAIN IDENTIFICATION
    • TEA

    Cite this

    Hong, S-B., Lee, M., Kim, D-H., Varga, J., Frisvad, J. C., Perrone, G., Gomi, K., Yamada, O., Machida, M., Houbraken, J., & Samson, R. A. (2013). Aspergillus luchuensis, an industrially important black Aspergillus in East Asia. PLOS ONE, 8(5), [e63769]. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0063769