Autophagy is important to the acidogenic metabolism of Aspergillus niger.
PLoS One. 2019;14(10):e0223895
Authors: Kaur B, Punekar NS
Significant phenotypic overlaps exist between autophagy and acidogenesis in Aspergillus niger. The possible role of autophagy in the acidogenic growth and metabolism of this fungus was therefore examined and the movement of cytosolic EGFP to vacuoles served to monitor this phenomenon. An autophagy response to typical as well as a metabolic inhibitor-induced nitrogen starvation was observed in A. niger mycelia. The vacuolar re-localization of cytosolic EGFP was not observed upon nitrogen starvation in the A. niger Δatg1 strain. The acidogenic growth of the fungus consisted of a brief log phase followed by an extended autophagy-like state throughout the idiophase of fermentation. Mycelia in the idiophase were highly vacuolated and EGFP was localized to the vacuoles but no autolysis was observed. Both autophagy and acidogenesis are compromised in Δatg1 and Δatg8 strains of A. niger. The acidogenic growth of the fungus thus appears to mimic a condition of nutrient limitation and is associated with an extended autophagy-like state. This crucial role of autophagy in acidogenic A. niger physiology could be of value in improving citric acid fermentation.
PMID: 31603923 [PubMed – in process]