Background: Microorganisms such as filamentous fungi are important sources of enzymes and secondary
metabolites with wide application in biotechnological processes conducted in different industrial areas.
Aspergillus, one of the most important genera of filamentous fungi for this purpose, has been used
as a model to understand different biological processes. Despite the existence of some pathogenic Aspergillus
strains, many others have been explored from a biotechnological perspective. Characteristics
such as the presence of a secretory pathway, the possibility of genetic manipulation, and high productivity
using different fermentative processes are advantageous and favorable for the use of Aspergillus spp.
for different purposes. Production of both hydrolases and secondary metabolites has been reported for
different Aspergillus species.
Objective: This review describes the production, importance, and application of the main hydrolases
(amylases, cellulases, fructofuranosidases, xylanases, proteases, tannases, and phytases) produced by
Aspergillus spp. considering their importance in the global enzyme market. The production of secondary
metabolites such as bioactive peptides and pigments is also presented.
Conclusion: Different Aspergillus strains have demonstrated biotechnological potential for the production
of hydrolases and secondary metabolites for application in food and feed, beverage, pharmaceutical,
pulp, and bioremediation industries among others. In the future new species should be described
and their biotechnological potential evaluated.