Further screening of Aspergillus species for occurrence of lectins and their partial characterization



Fifteen species of Aspergillus were screened for occurrence of lectins. Nine of them (A. sydowii, A. candidus, A. allahabadi, A. terricola, A. ficuum, A. sparsus, A. carneus, A. pulvinus and A. aculeatus) were found to possess lectin activity. None of the species elaborated lectin in culture supernatant. All the lectins agglutinated rat, pig and rabbit erythrocytes. A. sydowii, A. candidus, A. allahabadi, A. terricola, A. ficuum, A. sparsus, A. carneus and A. aculeatus lectins agglutinated all human type erythrocytes equally, while A. pulvinus lectin specifically agglutinated human type A and O erythrocytes. Neuraminidase and protease treatment to erythrocytes substantially augmented lectin titres manyfold. Lectins showed specificity to mucin and asialofetuin and all of them were specific to L-arabinose except that of A. carneus. Lectins from A. sydowii, A. ficuum, A. sparsus and A. carneus displayed remarkable specificities to D-xylose. Maximum lectin activity was expressed by 11 day old cultures of A. sydowii (titre 32), A. ficuum (titre 64) and A. sparsus (titre 1024). Lectins from A. aculeatus, A. candidus and A. terricola were expressed by 7–10 days, 6–9 days and 5–11 days old cultures, respectively. A. allahabadi cultures exhibited maximum lectin activity (titre 32) after 8–10 days of cultivation. A. carneus and A. pulvinus expressed optimal titres of 32 and 8, respectively on the 9th day. (© 2010 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim)