Production of catalases by Aspergillus niger isolates as a response to pollutant stress by heavy metals

Curr Microbiol. 2005 Apr;50(4):175-9. doi: 10.1007/s00284-004-4458-5. Epub 2005 Mar 15.


Isolates of Aspergillus niger, selected from the coal dust of a mine containing arsenic (As; 400 mg/kg) and from the river sediment of mine surroundings (As, 1651 mg/kg, Sb, 362 mg/kg), growing in minimal nitrate medium in the phase of hyphal development and spore formation, exhibited much higher levels of total catalase activity than the same species from the culture collection or a culture adapted to soil contaminated with As (5 mg/L). Electrophoretic resolution of catalases in cell-free extracts revealed three isozymes of catalases and production of individual isozymes was not significantly affected by stress environments. Exogenously added stressors (As(5+), Cd(2+), Cu(2+)) at final concentrations of 25 and 50 mg/L and H(2)O(2) (20 or 40 mM) mostly stimulated production of catalases only in isolates from mines surroundings, and H(2)O(2) and Hg(2+) caused the disappearance of the smallest catalase I. Isolates exhibited a higher tolerance of the toxic effects of heavy metals and H(2)O(2), as monitored by growth, than did the strain from the culture collection.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aspergillus niger / drug effects*
  • Aspergillus niger / enzymology
  • Aspergillus niger / metabolism
  • Catalase / biosynthesis*
  • Catalase / metabolism
  • Hydrogen Peroxide / metabolism
  • Metals, Heavy / chemistry
  • Metals, Heavy / metabolism
  • Metals, Heavy / pharmacology*
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects
  • Oxidative Stress / physiology
  • Soil Pollutants / toxicity*


  • Metals, Heavy
  • Soil Pollutants
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Catalase