CRISPR/Cas9 facilitates rapid generation of constitutive forms of transcription factors in Aspergillus niger through specific on-site genomic mutations resulting in increased saccharification of plant biomass.

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CRISPR/Cas9 facilitates rapid generation of constitutive forms of transcription factors in Aspergillus niger through specific on-site genomic mutations resulting in increased saccharification of plant biomass.

Enzyme Microb Technol. 2020 May;136:109508

Authors: Kun RS, Meng J, Salazar-Cerezo S, Mäkelä MR, de Vries RP, Garrigues S

Abstract
The CRISPR/Cas9 system has been successfully applied for gene editing in filamentous fungi. Previous studies reported that single stranded oligonucleotides can be used as repair templates to induce point mutations in some filamentous fungi belonging to genus Aspergillus. In Aspergillus niger, extensive research has been performed on regulation of plant biomass degradation, addressing transcription factors such as XlnR or GaaR, involved in (hemi-)cellulose and pectin utilization, respectively. Single nucleotide mutations leading to constitutively active forms of XlnR and GaaR have been previously reported. However, the mutations were performed by the introduction of versions obtained through site-directed or UV-mutagenesis into the genome. Here we report a more time- and cost-efficient approach to obtaining constitutively active versions by application of the CRISPR/Cas9 system to generate the desired mutation on-site in the A. niger genome. This was also achieved using only 60-mer single stranded oligonucleotides, shorter than the previously reported 90-mer strands. In this study, we show that CRISPR/Cas9 can also be used to efficiently change functional properties of the proteins encoded by the target gene by on-site genomic mutations in A. niger. The obtained strains with constitutively active XlnR and GaaR versions resulted in increased production of plant biomass degrading enzymes and improved release of d-xylose and l-arabinose from wheat bran, and d-galacturonic acid from sugar beet pulp.

PMID: 32331715 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

Source: Industry