Aspergillus niger

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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Fungal Infections in Humans. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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Aspergillus niger

Aspergillus niger cultures have a dark brown-to-black surface due to the dark pigmentation of the conidia, but the reverse side is light-colored or white. Vesicles with two rows of phialides (biseriate) that cover the entire surface of the vesicle are seen microscopically. Phialides produce chains of rough, round dark conidia.
The top right image shows a culture plate containing A. niger. (The black colonies are A. niger.) The bottom right image shows the conidial heads of A. niger, which are large, globose, and dark brown - and contain fungal spores.
26. CDC/Chew. Image #20861. This image was captured in 2005, by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Health Scientist, Ginger L. Chew, ScD, and depicted a culture plate, which contained malt extract agar (MEA) that had been inoculated with an air sample obtained on a filter membrane inside a home, flooded by Hurricane Katrina, and which exhibited visible mold growth on its walls and furnishings. After incubation, the culture gave rise to these mold colonies, which varied in size, color, and texture. The black colonies were comprised of the fungal organism, Aspergillus niger, a type of black mold commonly found in homes, and many of the tan-colored colonies represented species of the fungal genus, Paecilomyces. PHIL public domain. Created 2012. Accessed January 14, 2023.
27. CDC/Georg. Image #3965. This photomicrograph depicted some of the ultrastructural morphology of the fungal organism, Aspergillus niger, highlighting a conidial head still attached to its conidiophore. Conidial heads of A. niger are large, globose, and dark brown, and contain fungal spores, facilitating the propagation of the organism. PHIL public domain. Created 1955. Accessed January 14, 2023.

26. The black colonies are Aspergillus niger.
27. Aspergillus niger demonstrating conidial heads.