Square-plate culture method allows detection of differential gene expression and screening of novel, region-specific genes in Aspergillus oryzae


When grown on solid agar medium, the mycelium of a filamentous fungus, Aspergillus oryzae, forms three morphologically distinct regions: the tip (T), white (W), and basal (B) regions. In this study, we developed the square-plate culture method, a novel culture method that enabled the extraction of mRNA samples from the three regions and analyzed the differential gene expression of the A. oryzae mycelium in concert with the microarray technique. Expression of genes involved in protein synthesis was predominant in the T region; relative expression was, at most, six times higher in the T region compared to the other regions. Genes encoding hypothetical proteins were expressed at high levels in the W and B regions. In addition, genes coding transporters/permeases were predominantly transcribed in the B region. By analyzing the expression patterns of genes in the three regions, we demonstrated the dynamic changes in the regulation of gene expression that occur along the mycelium of filamentous fungi. Consequently, our study established a method to analyze and screen for region-specific genes whose function may be essential for morphogenesis and differentiation in filamentous fungi and whose traits may be beneficial to the biotechnology industry.

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This study was supported in part by the Program for Promotion of Basic Research Activities for Innovative Biosciences (BRAIN). We also thank M. Arioka for critical reading of the manuscript and thoughtful discussions.

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Correspondence to Katsuhiko Kitamoto.

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Masai, K., Maruyama, J., Sakamoto, K. et al. Square-plate culture method allows detection of differential gene expression and screening of novel, region-specific genes in Aspergillus oryzae . Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 71, 881–891 (2006).

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  • Filamentous Fungus
  • Aspergillus Oryzae
  • Cellulose Acetate Membrane
  • Aerial Hypha
  • Standard Saline Citrate