The Amylolytic Regulator AmyR of Aspergillus niger Is Involved in Sucrose and Inulin Utilization in a Culture-Condition-Dependent Manner

Roland S Kun, Sonia Salazar-Cerezo, Mao Peng, Yu Zhang, Emily Savage, Anna Lipzen, Vivian Ng, Igor V Grigoriev, Ronald P de Vries, Sandra Garrigues*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Filamentous fungi degrade complex plant material to its monomeric building blocks, which have many biotechnological applications. Transcription factors play a key role in plant biomass degradation, but little is known about their interactions in the regulation of polysaccharide degradation. Here, we deepened the knowledge about the storage polysaccharide regulators AmyR and InuR in Aspergillus niger. AmyR controls starch degradation, while InuR is involved in sucrose and inulin utilization. In our study, the phenotypes of A. niger parental, ΔamyR, ΔinuR and ΔamyRΔinuR strains were assessed in both solid and liquid media containing sucrose or inulin as carbon source to evaluate the roles of AmyR and InuR and the effect of culture conditions on their functions. In correlation with previous studies, our data showed that AmyR has a minor contribution to sucrose and inulin utilization when InuR is active. In contrast, growth profiles and transcriptomic data showed that the deletion of amyR in the ΔinuR background strain resulted in more pronounced growth reduction on both substrates, mainly evidenced by data originating from solid cultures. Overall, our results show that submerged cultures do not always reflect the role of transcription factors in the natural growth condition, which is better represented on solid substrates. Importance: The type of growth has critical implications in enzyme production by filamentous fungi, a process that is controlled by transcription factors. Submerged cultures are the preferred setups in laboratory and industry and are often used for studying the physiology of fungi. In this study, we showed that the genetic response of A. niger to starch and inulin was highly affected by the culture condition, since the transcriptomic response obtained in a liquid environment did not fully match the behavior of the fungus in a solid environment. These results have direct implications in enzyme production and would help industry choose the best approaches to produce specific CAZymes for industrial purposes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number438
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of fungi (Basel, Switzerland)
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 4 Apr 2023


  • Aspergillus niger
  • transcription factors
  • AmyR
  • InuR
  • liquid cultivation
  • solid cultivation


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