Mapping haze-komi on rice koji grains using β-glucuronidase expressing Aspergillus oryzae and mass spectrometry imaging

Adinda P. Wisman, Yoshihiro Tamada, Shuji Hirohata, Katsuya Gomi, Eiichiro Fukusaki, Shuichi Shimma

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    9 Citations (Scopus)


    In sake brewing, the quality of rice koji is evaluated by experienced sake brewers based on visual inspection of the haze, which is defined by the extent of fungal hyphae spread on/into the rice grains. There is an increasing interest in understanding the factors that affect the quality of rice koji, which is dependent on its making process. Several studies have focused on the degree of mycelial penetration (haze-komi) and enzyme production during rice koji production. However, there are limited analytical methods available to monitor hyphal growth on a solid surface. Here we used a β-glucuronidase (GUS)-expressing strain of Aspergillus oryzae to visualize and map the fungal growth on rice koji grains. Observation of indigo color revealed that A. oryzae hyphae penetrated the steamed rice grain in the early stage (24 h) of rice koji-making before spreading on the surface during the later stages. Additionally, hyphae penetrated along the endosperm cells and penetrated the cells to form the sou-haze. Furthermore, mass spectrometry imaging (MSI) of glucose demonstrated that the area of mycelial penetration is directly correlated with the spread of glucose during fermentation. This is the first report on utilizing new tools such as GUS-body-mapping of A. oryzae and MSI to monitor fungal growth during rice koji making.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)296-301
    Number of pages6
    JournalJournal of Bioscience and Bioengineering
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2020 Mar


    • Aspergillus oryzae
    • Fungal growth
    • Haze-komi
    • Mass spectrometry imaging
    • Rice koji
    • β-Glucuronidase

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Biotechnology
    • Bioengineering
    • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


    Dive into the research topics of 'Mapping haze-komi on rice koji grains using β-glucuronidase expressing Aspergillus oryzae and mass spectrometry imaging'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this