An endogenous beta-glucuronidase that hydrolyses the chromogenic substrate 5-bromo-4-chloro-3-indolyl-beta-D-glucuronide (X-gluc) in Aspergillus niger is reported. The activity was induced when the fungus was grown in media containing xylan, but was either very low, or absent, when grown on glucose. Endogenous beta-glucuronidase was primarily located in newly formed hyphae, and was apparent at pH values between 3 and 6. Hydrolysis of X-gluc was sensitive to the inhibitor D-saccharic acid 1,4-lactone and was irreversibly inactivated by heating. The bacterial uid A beta-glucuronidase reporter gene was strongly expressed in the hyphae of transformed A. niger but, in contrast to the endogenous activity, the enzyme was also active at pH 7-8.5. Histochemical localization of uidA expression in A. niger, without interference from the endogenous beta-glucuronidase activity, was achieved by staining at this pH.