New and Future Developments in Microbial Biotechnology and Bioengineering

Vijai Kumar Gupta
Published in: Elsevier
Release Year: 2016
ISBN: 978-0-444-63505-1
Pages: 253
Edition: Aspergillus System Properties
 & Applications
File Size: 11 MB
File Type: pdf
Language: English

Description of New and Future Developments in Microbial Biotechnology and Bioengineering Aspergillus System Properties and Applications


Members of the genus Aspergillus are cosmopolitan and prevalent components of different ecosystems in a wide range of environmental and climatic zones (Klich, 2002a; Lević et al., 2013), because they can colonize a wide variety of substrates. Species belonging to the genus Aspergillus are widely distributed throughout the world biomes, for example, soil (Hill et al., 1983; Klich, 2002a; Abdel-Azeem and Ibrahim, 2004; Conley et al., 2006; Jaime-Garcia and Cotty, 2010), salterns (Butinar et al., 2011; Balbool et al., 2013), agroecosystems (Bayman et al., 2002; Horn, 2003; Jaime-
Garcia and Cotty, 2006; Abdel-Azeem et al., 2007; Marín et al., 2012; Muthomi et al., 2012), polar (Arenz et al., 2014),
living plants, animals and lichens (Yu et al., 2012; Salem and Abdel-Azeem, 2014; Tripathi and Joshi, 2015), stones (Tang et al., 2012), water-related (Sivakumar et al., 2006; Bonugli-Santos et al., 2015), fossil records (Thomas and Poinar, 1988; Dörfelt and Schmidt, 2005), and human (Horré et al., 2010;
Marguet et al., 2012; Findley et al., 2013). The occurrence of Aspergillus species is controlled by several factors including microclimate, the availability of substrates, as well as water activity and complex ecological interactions (Mouchacca, 1995; Grishkan and Nevo, 2010;  Pettersson and Leong, 2011).
Survival in different environmental and geographical habitats can be related to metabolic diversity, high reproductive capacity, and competitive capabilities of Aspergillus strains in nature (de Vries and Visser, 2001; Horn and Dorner, 2002; Shehu and Bello, 2011; Mehl and Cotty, 2013). The genus Aspergillus consists of about 339 species, including both pathogenic and beneficial species (Samson et al., 2014). Several species are pathogenic to plants, animals, and humans (eg, Aspergillus fumigatus, Aspergillus terreus) and/or produce different types of toxins, such as aflatoxins and ochratoxins (eg, Aspergillus flavus, Aspergillus ochraceous). On the other hand, several species are widely used in different industrial applications, for example, production of foods, drinks, organic acids, and a large variety of enzymes (eg, Aspergillus niger, Aspergillus aculeatus, Aspergillus oryzae).
The broad relevance and economic importance of the genus have pushed it to the forefront of fungal research, with one of the largest academic and industrial research communities dedicated to this genus. We searched major names of interest of Aspergillus species in both the web of Google Scholar and Research Gate on July 17, 2015. Results showed that A. niger came first by 307,000 and 79,900 recorded hits followed by A. fumigatus (199,000 and 55,500), A. oryzae (82,900 and 25,200) and A. flavus (79,000 and 43,100), respectively. The aim of this chapter is to give an overview of the studies aimed at the investigation of Aspergillus biodiversity in a wide variety of different ecological habitats.
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