FluG affects secretion in colonies of Aspergillus niger
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Colonies of Aspergillus niger are characterized by zonal heterogeneity in growth, sporulation, gene expression and secretion. For instance, the glucoamylase gene glaA is more highly expressed at the periphery of colonies when compared to the center. As a consequence, its encoded protein GlaA is mainly secreted at the outer part of the colony. Here, multiple copies of amyR were introduced in A. niger. Most transformants over-expressing this regulatory gene of amylolytic genes still displayed heterogeneous glaA expression and GlaA secretion. However, heterogeneity was abolished in transformant UU-A001.13 by expressing glaA and secreting GlaA throughout the mycelium. Sequencing the genome of UU-A001.13 revealed that transformation had been accompanied by deletion of part of the fluG gene and disrupting its 3′ end by integration of a transformation vector. Inactivation of fluG in the wild-type background of A. niger also resulted in breakdown of starch under the whole colony. Asexual development of the ∆fluG strain was not affected, unlike what was previously shown in Aspergillus nidulans. Genes encoding proteins with a signal sequence for secretion, including part of the amylolytic genes, were more often downregulated in the central zone of maltose-grown ∆fluG colonies and upregulated in the intermediate part and periphery when compared to the wild-type. Together, these data indicate that FluG of A. niger is a repressor of secretion.
KeywordsFungus Conidiogenesis Asexual development Aspergillus fluG Secretion Heterogeneity
We would like to thank Dr. AFJ Ram and Dr. B Nitsche of Leiden University for providing us with the ∆fluG strain.
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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