Strain-specific retrotransposon-mediated recombination in commercially used Aspergillus niger strain

  • Ilka Braumann
  • Marco A. van den Berg
  • Frank Kempken
Original Paper


Transposons are usually present in multiple copies in their hosts’ genomes. Recombination between two transposon copies can result in chromosomal rearrangements. Here, we describe a recombination event between two copies of the retrotransposon ANiTa1 within the genome of the fungus Aspergillus niger (strain CBS513.88). The observed chromosomal rearrangement appears to be strain-specific, as the corresponding genomic region in another strain, ATCC1015, shows a different organization. Strain ATCC1015 actually seems to lack full-length ANiTa1 copies and possesses only solo LTR sequences. Presumably strain ATCC1015 was once colonized by ANiTa1, but then the genome subsequently lost the ANiTa1 copies. The striking genomic differences in ANiTa1 copy distribution leading to differences in the chromosomal structure between the two strains, ATTC1015 and CBS513.88, suggest that the activity of transposons may profoundly affect the evolution of different fungal strains.


Aspergillus niger ATCC1015 CBS513.88 Retrotransposon ANiTa1 LTR Recombination 



This work was funded in part by DSM Anti-Infectives, Delft. We thank the US Department of Energy, Joint Genome Institute for access to the A. niger ATCC1015 sequence. English language editing of the manuscript was performed by “San Francisco Editing”. Ilka Braumann received a grant of the Max-Buchner-Stiftung.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ilka Braumann
    • 1
  • Marco A. van den Berg
    • 2
  • Frank Kempken
    • 1
  1. 1.Abteilung Botanik mit Schwerpunkt Genetik und Molekularbiologie, Botanisches Institut und Botanischer GartenChristian-Albrechts-Universität zu KielKielGermany
  2. 2.DSM Anti-Infectives (624-0270)DelftThe Netherlands

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