High throughput de novo RNA sequencing elucidates novel responses in Penicillium chrysogenum under microgravity
In this study, the transcriptional alterations in Penicillium chrysogenum under simulated microgravity conditions were analyzed for the first time using an RNA-Seq method. The increasing plethora of eukaryotic microbial flora inside the spaceship demands the basic understanding of fungal biology in the absence of gravity vector. Penicillium species are second most dominant fungal contaminant in International Space Station. Penicillium chrysogenum an industrially important organism also has the potential to emerge as an opportunistic pathogen for the astronauts during the long-term space missions. But till date, the cellular mechanisms underlying the survival and adaptation of Penicillium chrysogenum to microgravity conditions are not clearly elucidated. A reference genome for Penicillium chrysogenum is not yet available in the NCBI database. Hence, we performed comparative de novo transcriptome analysis of Penicillium chrysogenum grown under microgravity versus normal gravity. In addition, the changes due to microgravity are documented at the molecular level. Increased response to the environmental stimulus, changes in the cell wall component ABC transporter/MFS transporters are noteworthy. Interestingly, sustained increase in the expression of Acyl-coenzyme A: isopenicillin N acyltransferase (Acyltransferase) under microgravity revealed the significance of gravity in the penicillin production which could be exploited industrially.