Aspergillus oryzae

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Aspergillus oryzae
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Fungi
Division: Ascomycota
Class: Eurotiomycetes
Order: Eurotiales
Family: Trichocomaceae
Genus: Aspergillus
Species: A. oryzae
Binomial name
Aspergillus oryzae
(Ahlburg) Cohn

Aspergillus oryzae (Chinese: 麴菌, 麴霉菌, 曲霉菌, pinyin: qū meí jùn, Japanese: 麹, 麹菌 or kōji-kin) is a filamentous fungus (a mold) used in Chinese and Japanese cuisine which ferments soybeans to produce soy sauce and miso. The fungus is also used by both cultures to saccharify rice, potatoes and grains for fermentation in the making of alcoholic beverages as huangjiu, sake, awamori and Shōchū. Also, the fungus is used for the production of rice vinegars as the Japanese rice vinegar (awasezu), ... The protease enzymes produced by this species is marketed by the company Novozymes under the name Flavourzyme.

"Red kōji-kin" is a separate species, Monascus purpureus.


Initially kept secret, the A. oryzae genome was released by a consortium of Japanese biotechnology companies [1] in late 2005[2]. The eight chromosomes together comprise 37 million base pairs and twelve thousand predicted genes. The genome of A. oryzae is thus one-third larger than that of two related Aspergilli, the genetics model organism Aspergillus nidulans and the dangerous human pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus[3]. Many of the extra genes present in A. oryzae are predicted to be involved in secondary metabolism. The sequenced strain is called RIB40 or ATCC 42149, and is a wildtype strain that is also used industrially.


  1. Goffeau, André (2005). "Multiple moulds". Nature. 438: 1092–1093. Unknown parameter |month= ignored (help)
  2. Machida, Masayuki et al. (2005). "Genome sequencing and analysis of Aspergillus oryzae". Nature. 438: 1157–1161. doi:10.1038/nature04300. Unknown parameter |month= ignored (help)
  3. Galagan, James E. (2005). "Sequencing of Aspergillus nidulans and comparative analysis with A. fumigatus and A. oryzae". Nature. 438: 1105–1115. doi:10.1038/nature04341. Unknown parameter |month= ignored (help); Unknown parameter |coauthors= ignored (help)

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