Preservation stress resistance of melanin deficient conidia from Paecilomyces variotii and Penicillium roqueforti mutants generated via CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing
Fungal Biol Biotechnol. 2021 Apr 2;8(1):4. doi: 10.1186/s40694-021-00111-w.
BACKGROUND: The filamentous fungi Paecilomyces variotii and Penicillium roqueforti are prevalent food spoilers and are of interest as potential future cell factories. A functional CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing system would be beneficial for biotechnological advances as well as future (genetic) research in P. variotii and P. roqueforti.
RESULTS: Here we describe the successful implementation of an efficient AMA1-based CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing system developed for Aspergillus niger in P. variotii and P. roqueforti in order to create melanin deficient strains. Additionally, kusA– mutant strains with a disrupted non-homologous end-joining repair mechanism were created to further optimize and facilitate efficient genome editing in these species. The effect of melanin on the resistance of conidia against the food preservation stressors heat and UV-C radiation was assessed by comparing wild-type and melanin deficient mutant conidia.
CONCLUSIONS: Our findings show the successful use of CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing and its high efficiency in P. variotii and P. roqueforti in both wild-type strains as well as kusA– mutant background strains. Additionally, we observed that melanin deficient conidia of three food spoiling fungi were not altered in their heat resistance. However, melanin deficient conidia had increased sensitivity towards UV-C radiation.