To analyse the regulation of the biosynthesis of the secondary metabolite penicillin in Aspergillus nidulans, a strain with an inactivated acvA gene produced by targeted disruption was used. acvA encodes delta-(L-alpha-aminoadipyl)-L-cysteinyl-D-valine synthetase (ACVS), which catalyses the first step in the penicillin biosynthetic pathway. To study the effect of the inactivated acvA gene on the expression of acvA and the second gene, ipnA, which encodes isopenicillin N synthase (IPNS), A. nidulans strain XEPD, with the acvA disruption, was crossed with strain AXB4A carrying acvA-uidA and ipnA-lacZ fusion genes. Ascospores with the predicted non-penicillin producing phenotype and a hybridization pattern indicating the presence of the disrupted acvA gene, and the fusion genes integrated in single copy at the chromosomal argB locus were identified. Both fusion genes were expressed at the same level as in the non-disrupted strain. Western blot analysis (immunoblotting) revealed that similar amounts of IPNS enzyme were present in both strains from 24 to 68 h of a fermentation run. In the acvA disrupted strain, IPNS and acyl-CoA: 6-aminopenicillanic acid acyltransferase (ACT) specific activities were detected, excluding a sequential induction mechanism of regulation of the penicillin biosynthesis gene ipnA and the third gene aat.