Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 99, Issue 17, pp 6971–6986 | Cite as

Biotransformations of organic compounds mediated by cultures of Aspergillus niger

  • Igor A. Parshikov
  • Kellie A. Woodling
  • John B. SutherlandEmail author


Many different organic compounds may be converted by microbial biotransformation to high-value products for the chemical and pharmaceutical industries. This review summarizes the use of strains of Aspergillus niger, a well-known filamentous fungus used in numerous biotechnological processes, for biochemical transformations of organic compounds. The substrates transformed include monocyclic, bicyclic, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons; azaarenes, epoxides, chlorinated hydrocarbons, and other aliphatic and aromatic compounds. The types of reactions performed by A. niger, although not unique to this species, are extremely diverse. They include hydroxylation, oxidation of various functional groups, reduction of double bonds, demethylation, sulfation, epoxide hydrolysis, dechlorination, ring cleavage, and conjugation. Some of the products may be useful as new investigational drugs or chemical intermediates.


Arenes Aspergillus niger Biotransformation Hydrocarbons Organic compounds 



The authors would like to thank Dr. C. E. Cerniglia, Dr. F. A. Beland, Dr. L. Loukotková, and Dr. B. D. Erickson for their helpful comments on the manuscript. The views presented in this article do not necessarily reflect those of the US Food and Drug Administration.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg (outside the USA) 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Igor A. Parshikov
    • 1
  • Kellie A. Woodling
    • 2
  • John B. Sutherland
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Institute of Applied MechanicsRussian Academy of SciencesMoscowRussia
  2. 2.Division of Biochemical Toxicology, National Center for Toxicological ResearchU S Food and Drug AdministrationJeffersonUSA
  3. 3.Division of Microbiology, National Center for Toxicological ResearchU S Food and Drug AdministrationJeffersonUSA

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