On the safety of Aspergillus niger - a review

E. Schuster, N. Dunn-Coleman, Jens Christian Frisvad, P.W.M. van Dijck

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

    Abstract

    Aspergillus niger is one of the most important microorganisms used in biotechnology. It has been in use already for many decades to produce extracellular (food) enzymes and citric acid. In fact, citric acid and many A. niger enzymes are considered GRAS by the United States Food and Drug Administration. In addition, A. niger is used for biotransformations and waste treatment. In the last two decades, A. niger has been developed as an important transformation host to over-express food enzymes. Being pre-dated by older names, the name A. niger has been conserved for economical and information retrieval reasons and there is a taxonomical consensus based on molecular data that the only other common species closely related to A. niger in the Aspergillus series Nigri is A. tubingensis. A. niger, like other filamentous fungi, should be treated carefully to avoid the formation of spore dust. However, compared with other filamentous fungi, it does not stand out as a particular problem concerning allergy or mycopathology. A few medical cases, e.g. lung infections, have been reported, but always in severely immunocompromised patients. In tropical areas, ear infections (otomycosis) do occur due to A. niger invasion of the outer ear canal but this may be caused by mechanical damage of the skin barrier. A. niger strains produce a series of secondary metabolites, but it is only ochratoxin A that can be regarded as a mycotoxin in the strict sense of the word. Only 3-10% of the strains examined for ochratoxin A production have tested positive under favourable conditions. New and unknown isolates should be checked for ochratoxin A production before they are developed as production organisms. It is concluded, with these restrictions, that A. niger is a safe production organism.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalApplied Microbiology and Biotechnology
    Volume59
    Issue number4-5
    Pages (from-to)426-435
    ISSN0175-7598
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2002

    Cite this

    Schuster, E. ; Dunn-Coleman, N. ; Frisvad, Jens Christian ; van Dijck, P.W.M. / On the safety of Aspergillus niger - a review. In: Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology. 2002 ; Vol. 59, No. 4-5. pp. 426-435.
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    title = "On the safety of Aspergillus niger - a review",
    abstract = "Aspergillus niger is one of the most important microorganisms used in biotechnology. It has been in use already for many decades to produce extracellular (food) enzymes and citric acid. In fact, citric acid and many A. niger enzymes are considered GRAS by the United States Food and Drug Administration. In addition, A. niger is used for biotransformations and waste treatment. In the last two decades, A. niger has been developed as an important transformation host to over-express food enzymes. Being pre-dated by older names, the name A. niger has been conserved for economical and information retrieval reasons and there is a taxonomical consensus based on molecular data that the only other common species closely related to A. niger in the Aspergillus series Nigri is A. tubingensis. A. niger, like other filamentous fungi, should be treated carefully to avoid the formation of spore dust. However, compared with other filamentous fungi, it does not stand out as a particular problem concerning allergy or mycopathology. A few medical cases, e.g. lung infections, have been reported, but always in severely immunocompromised patients. In tropical areas, ear infections (otomycosis) do occur due to A. niger invasion of the outer ear canal but this may be caused by mechanical damage of the skin barrier. A. niger strains produce a series of secondary metabolites, but it is only ochratoxin A that can be regarded as a mycotoxin in the strict sense of the word. Only 3-10{\%} of the strains examined for ochratoxin A production have tested positive under favourable conditions. New and unknown isolates should be checked for ochratoxin A production before they are developed as production organisms. It is concluded, with these restrictions, that A. niger is a safe production organism.",
    author = "E. Schuster and N. Dunn-Coleman and Frisvad, {Jens Christian} and {van Dijck}, P.W.M.",
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    On the safety of Aspergillus niger - a review. / Schuster, E.; Dunn-Coleman, N.; Frisvad, Jens Christian; van Dijck, P.W.M.

    In: Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, Vol. 59, No. 4-5, 2002, p. 426-435.

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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    T1 - On the safety of Aspergillus niger - a review

    AU - Schuster, E.

    AU - Dunn-Coleman, N.

    AU - Frisvad, Jens Christian

    AU - van Dijck, P.W.M.

    PY - 2002

    Y1 - 2002

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    AB - Aspergillus niger is one of the most important microorganisms used in biotechnology. It has been in use already for many decades to produce extracellular (food) enzymes and citric acid. In fact, citric acid and many A. niger enzymes are considered GRAS by the United States Food and Drug Administration. In addition, A. niger is used for biotransformations and waste treatment. In the last two decades, A. niger has been developed as an important transformation host to over-express food enzymes. Being pre-dated by older names, the name A. niger has been conserved for economical and information retrieval reasons and there is a taxonomical consensus based on molecular data that the only other common species closely related to A. niger in the Aspergillus series Nigri is A. tubingensis. A. niger, like other filamentous fungi, should be treated carefully to avoid the formation of spore dust. However, compared with other filamentous fungi, it does not stand out as a particular problem concerning allergy or mycopathology. A few medical cases, e.g. lung infections, have been reported, but always in severely immunocompromised patients. In tropical areas, ear infections (otomycosis) do occur due to A. niger invasion of the outer ear canal but this may be caused by mechanical damage of the skin barrier. A. niger strains produce a series of secondary metabolites, but it is only ochratoxin A that can be regarded as a mycotoxin in the strict sense of the word. Only 3-10% of the strains examined for ochratoxin A production have tested positive under favourable conditions. New and unknown isolates should be checked for ochratoxin A production before they are developed as production organisms. It is concluded, with these restrictions, that A. niger is a safe production organism.

    U2 - 10.1007/s00253-002-1032-6

    DO - 10.1007/s00253-002-1032-6

    M3 - Journal article

    VL - 59

    SP - 426

    EP - 435

    JO - Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

    JF - Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

    SN - 0175-7598

    IS - 4-5

    ER -