Current Genetics

, Volume 61, Issue 4, pp 579–589 | Cite as

Gene targeting in the oil-producing fungus Mortierella alpina 1S-4 and construction of a strain producing a valuable polyunsaturated fatty acid

  • Hiroshi Kikukawa
  • Eiji Sakuradani
  • Masato Nakatani
  • Akinori Ando
  • Tomoyo Okuda
  • Takaiku Sakamoto
  • Misa Ochiai
  • Sakayu Shimizu
  • Jun OgawaEmail author
Research Article


To develop an efficient gene-targeting system in Mortierella alpina 1S-4, we identified the ku80 gene encoding the Ku80 protein, which is involved in the nonhomologous end-joining pathway in genomic double-strand break (DSB) repair, and constructed ku80 gene-disrupted strains via single-crossover homologous recombination. The Δku80 strain from M. alpina 1S-4 showed no negative effects on vegetative growth, formation of spores, and fatty acid productivity, and exhibited high sensitivity to methyl methanesulfonate, which causes DSBs. Dihomo-γ-linolenic acid (DGLA)-producing strains were constructed by disruption of the Δ5-desaturase gene, encoding a key enzyme of bioconversion of DGLA to ARA, using the Δku80 strain as a host strain. The significant improvement of gene-targeting efficiency was not observed by disruption of the ku80 gene, but the construction of DGLA-producing strain by disruption of the Δ5-desaturase gene was succeeded using the Δku80 strain as a host strain. This report describes the first study on the identification and disruption of the ku80 gene in zygomycetes and construction of a DGLA-producing transformant using a gene-targeting system in M. alpina 1S-4.


Mortierella alpina Ku80 Homologous recombination Gene targeting Δ5-desaturase Dihomo-γ-linolenic acid 



This work was partially supported by Grants-in Aid for Scientific Research of Japan (Numbers 22380051 to E. Sakuradani and 23248014 to J. Ogawa), the Program for Promotion of Basic and Applied Researches for Innovations in Bio-oriented Industry (BRAIN) of Japan, and the Advanced Low Carbon Technology Research and Development Program (ALCA) of Japan.

Supplementary material

294_2015_481_MOESM1_ESM.pptx (161 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PPTX 161 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hiroshi Kikukawa
    • 1
  • Eiji Sakuradani
    • 1
    • 2
  • Masato Nakatani
    • 1
  • Akinori Ando
    • 1
    • 3
  • Tomoyo Okuda
    • 1
  • Takaiku Sakamoto
    • 1
  • Misa Ochiai
    • 4
  • Sakayu Shimizu
    • 1
    • 5
  • Jun Ogawa
    • 1
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Division of Applied Life Sciences, Graduate School of AgricultureKyoto UniversityKyotoJapan
  2. 2.Institute of Technology and ScienceTokushima UniversityTokushimaJapan
  3. 3.Research Unit for Physiological ChemistryKyoto UniversityKyotoJapan
  4. 4.Research Institute, Suntory Global Innovation Center Ltd.OsakaJapan
  5. 5.Department of Bioscience and Biotechnology, Faculty of Bioenvironmental ScienceKyoto Gakuen UniversityKameokaJapan

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