Influence of ferulic acid on the production of feruloyl esterases by Aspergillus niger

Craig B. Faulds, Ronald P. Devries, Paul A. Kroon, Jaap Visser, Gary Williamson

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Extracellular feruloyl esterases from the filamentous fungus Aspergillus niger are induced by growth on oat spelt xylan (OSX), which contains no detectable esterified ferulic acid. FAE-III accounted for most of the feruloyl esterase activity. Addition of free ferulic acid to OSX at the start of the culture induced FAE-III secretion a further 2.3-fold, and also induced other feruloyl esterases which could not be ascribed to FAE-III. Wheat bran- (WB)-grown cultures, containing 1% (m/v) ester-linked ferulic acid, gave almost identical FAE-III and total feruloyl esterase activities as the cultures grown on OSX plus ferulic acid. De-esterification of WB yielded less total feruloyl esterase, and 2.4-fold less FAE-III, compared to untreated WB. A slightly modified form of FAE-III was produced on de-esterified WB. These results show that production of FAE-III does not absolutely require ferulic acid. However, production is stimulated by the presence of free ferulic acid through increased expression, and is reduced by the removal of esterified ferulic acid from the growth substrate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)239-244
Number of pages6
JournalFEMS Microbiology Letters
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 15 Dec 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • Aspergillus niger
  • Ferulic acid esterase
  • Induction
  • Xylanase

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