The fluG gene proved to be essential in the initialisation of autolysis in Aspergillus nidulans (teleomorph Emericella nidulans) cultures, while a loss-of-function mutation in only one out of the flbB-E genes had only minor effects on autolysis. In contrast to its important role in sporulation, brlA regulated only some, but not all, elements of the autolytic process. The tightly coupled autolytic events (chitinase and proteinase production, hyphal fragmentation, disorganisation of pellets, autolytic loss of biomass) observable in ageing cultures of A. nidulans were disconnected by loss-of-function mutations in some genes of the FluG-BrlA regulatory network. The tight correlation between pellet morphology and size and hydrolase production was also erased by these mutations. On the other hand, the mutations studied did not affect the glutathione metabolism of the fungus.