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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Detailed analysis of the D-galactose catabolic pathways in Aspergillus niger reveals complexity at both metabolic and regulatory level


The current impetus towards a sustainable bio-based economy has accelerated research to better understand the mechanisms through which filamentous fungi convert plant biomass, a valuable feedstock for biotechnological applications. Several transcription factors have been reported to control the polysaccharide degradation and metabolism of the resulting sugars in fungi. However, little is known about their individual contributions, interactions and crosstalk. D-galactose is a hexose sugar present mainly in hemicellulose and pectin in plant biomass. Here, we study D-galactose conversion by Aspergillus niger and describe the involvement of the arabinanolytic and xylanolytic activators AraR and XlnR, in addition to the D-galactose-responsive regulator GalX. Our results deepen the understanding of the complexity of the filamentous fungal regulatory network for plant biomass degradation and sugar catabolism, and facilitate the generation of more efficient plant biomass-degrading strains for biotechnological applications.

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