Aspergillus niger pectin lyases are encoded by a multigene family. The complete nucleotide sequence of the pectin lyase PLA-encoding gene pelA has been determined. Comparison of the deduced amino acid sequence with the deduced amino acid sequence of the other characterized pectin lyase, PLD, shows that the proteins share 69% amino acid identity. When grown on media with pectin as the sole carbon source, A. niger transformants containing multiple copies of the pelA gene show raised mRNA levels and overexpression of the gene product PLA compared with the wild-type strain. PLA was purified and characterized. In A. nidulans transformants PLA is also produced in medium containing a high concentration of glucose and no pectin.