Overexpression of the gene encoding alternative oxidase for enhanced glucose consumption in oxalic acid producing Aspergillus niger expressing oxaloacetate hydrolase gene

Isato Yoshioka, Keiichi Kobayashi, Kohtaro Kirimura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The filamentous fungus Aspergillus niger is a well-known hyper-producer of organic acids such as citric acid and oxalic acid. This fungus possesses the cyanide (CN)-insensitive respiration pathway consisting of alternative oxidase (EC; AOX), in addition to the cytochrome pathway. Since this CN-insensitive respiration pathway reoxidizes NADH without ATP production, it contributes to continuous glycolysis in A. niger. In this study, to show the availability of aoxA gene encoding AOX as a tool for metabolic engineering, we generated efficient oxalic acid (OA)-producers by genetic engineering of A. niger using aoxA gene. The OA-producing strain EOAH-1, generated by overexpression of the oxaloacetate hydrolase (EC; OAH) gene oahA in A. niger WU-2223L, produced 28 g/L OA from 30 g/L glucose during the 9-day cultivation period. Moreover, the strain EAOXOAH-1, generated by overexpression of both aoxA and oahA genes in strain WU-2223L, produced 28 g/L OA during the 7-day cultivation period. Strain EAOXOAH-1 showed higher glucose consumption rate than EOAH-1 did, indicating that overexpression of aoxA contributed to the acceleration of glucose consumption, and that the OA production period was shortened by 2 days. Thus, we clearly show that AOX gene must be an effective tool in metabolic engineering for efficient organic acids production from carbohydrates.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Bioscience and Bioengineering
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2019 Jan 1



  • Alternative oxidase
  • Aspergillus niger
  • Glycolysis
  • Metabolic engineering
  • Oxalic acid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

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