Fungal Biol. 2021 Mar;125(3):231-238. doi: 10.1016/j.funbio.2020.11.004. Epub 2020 Nov 27.
Aspergillus niger reproduces asexually by forming conidia. Here, the minimal nutrient requirements were studied that activate germination of A. niger conidia. To this end, germination was monitored in time using an oCelloScope imager. Data was used as input in an asymmetric model to describe the process of swelling and germ tube formation. The maximum number of spores (Pmax) that were activated to swell and to form germ tubes was 32.54% and 20.51%, respectively, in minimal medium with 50 mM glucose. In contrast, Pmax of swelling and germ tube formation was <1% in water or 50 mM glucose. Combining 50 mM glucose with either NaNO3, KH2PO4, or MgSO4 increased Pmax of swelling and germination up to 15.25% and 5.4%, respectively, while combining glucose with two of these inorganic components further increased these Pmax values up to 25.85% and 10.99%. Next, 10 mM amino acid was combined with a phosphate buffer and MgSO4. High (e.g. proline), intermediate and low (e.g. cysteine) inducing amino acids were distinguished. Together, a combination of an inducing carbon source with either inorganic phosphate, inorganic nitrogen or magnesium sulphate is the minimum requirement for A. niger conidia to germinate.