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Metab Eng. 2000 Jan;2(1):34-41.

Construction and characterization of an oxalic acid nonproducing strain of Aspergillus niger.

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  • 1Center for Process Biotechnology, Department of Biotechnology, Technical University of Denmark, Lyngby.


Aspergillus niger produces oxalic acid as a by-product which causes problems with downstream processing of industrial enzymes. To overcome this problem the oah gene encoding oxaloacetate hydrolase (EC was disrupted in a glucoamylase-producing strain of A. niger and the resulting strain was incapable of producing oxalic acid. The strain with the disrupted gene was compared with the wild-type strain producing oxalic acid in batch cultivations. The specific growth rate of both strains was 0.20 h(-1). The citric acid yields were identical, but the glucoamylase yield was only 50% in the disruptant compared with the wild-type strain. Batch experiments with 13C-labeled glucose as substrate were carried out to determine the metabolic fluxes through the central metabolism. The two strains had almost identical metabolic fluxes, which suggested that it was possible to disrupt the oah gene without pleiotropic consequences. The flux through the pentose phosphate pathway was around 60% of the glucose uptake for both strains, which suggested that a sufficient supply of NADPH was available for biosynthesis.

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