Aspergillus niger secretes three glycosylated glycosyl hydrolases which are involved in degradation of the plant cell wall polysaccharide L-arabinan: alpha-L-arabinofuranosidases (ABF) A and B, and endo-1,5-alpha-L-arabinase (ABN) A. The nucleotide sequence of the previously cloned gene encoding ABF A (abfA) from A. niger was determined. The coding region contains seven introns. Mature ABF A comprises 603 amino acids with a molecular mass of 65.4 kDa as deduced from the nucleotide sequence. The secreted enzyme is N-glycosylated. The primary structures of the three A. niger arabinases characterized lack similarity. Regulation of arabinase expression upon induction by sugar beet pulp and by L-arabitol was studied as a function of time. This was done in wild-type A. niger as well as in transformants carrying multiple copies of either one of the ABF-encoding genes. Each arabinase gene responded differently upon a mycelial transfer to L-arabitol-containing medium. Extra copies of abfA or abfB led to a decreased expression level of ABN A, though the repression elicited by abfB is stronger and more persistent than that effected by abfA. Multiple copies of both abf genes influence expression of the other ABF similarly, but to a far less pronounced degree than they affect ABN A synthesis. Four putative promoter elements, shared by all three arabinase genes, could be involved in coordination of L-arabinan degradation by A. niger.