Aspergillus nidulans conidiospores contain high levels of the non-reducing disaccharide trehalose. We show that upon induction of conidiospore germination, the trehalose pool is rapidly degraded and a glycerol pool is transiently accumulated. A trehalase with an acidic pH optimum was purified from conidiospores. Characterization of the treA gene encoding this trehalase shows that it is homologous to Saccharomyces cerevisiae vacuolar acid trehalase, the product of the ATH1 gene, and to two related proteins of unknown function identified in Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Mycobacterium leprae. A. nidulans mutants that lack acid trehalase activity were constructed by gene replacement at the treA locus. Analysis of these mutants suggests that the treA gene product is localized in the conidiospore wall, is required for growth on trehalose as a carbon source, and is not involved in the mobilization of the intracellular pool of trehalose. Therefore, it is proposed that a cytoplasmic regulatory trehalase is controlling this latter process.