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J Agric Food Chem. 2007 Nov 14;55(23):9727-32. Epub 2007 Oct 12.

Fumonisin B2 production by Aspergillus niger.

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  • 1Center for Microbial Biotechnology, BioCentrum-DTU, Technical University of Denmark, Søltofts Plads 221, DK-2800 Kgs. Lyngby, Denmark.


The carcinogenic mycotoxin fumonisin B2 was detected for the first time in the industrially important Aspergillus niger. Fumonisin B2, 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 B1, B2, and B3 on agar media based on plant extracts, such as barley malt, oat, rice, potatoes, and carrots, A. niger produced fumonisin B2 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 B2 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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