Improvement of Free Fatty Acid Secretory Productivity in Aspergillus oryzae by Comprehensive Analysis on Time-Series Gene Expression
Front Microbiol. 2021 Apr 9;12:605095. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2021.605095. eCollection 2021.
Aspergillus oryzae is a filamentous fungus that has historically been utilized in the fermentation of food products. In recent times, it has also been introduced as a component in the industrial biosynthesis of consumable compounds, including free fatty acids (FFAs), which are valuable and versatile products that can be utilized as feedstocks in the production of other commodities, such as pharmaceuticals and dietary supplements. To improve the FFA secretory productivity of A. oryzae in the presence of Triton X-100, we analyzed the gene expression of a wild-type control strain and a disruptant strain of an acyl-CoA synthetase gene, faaA, in a time-series experiment. We employed a comprehensive analysis strategy using the baySeq, DESeq2, and edgeR algorithms to clarify the vital pathways for FFA secretory productivity and select genes for gene modification. We found that the transport and metabolism of inorganic ions are crucial in the initial stages of FFA production and revealed 16 candidate genes to be modified in conjunction with the faaA disruption. These genes were verified through the construction of overexpression strains, and showed that the manipulation of reactions closer to the FFA biosynthesis step led to a higher increase in FFA secretory productivity. This resulted in the most successful overexpression strains to have an FFA secretory productivity more than two folds higher than that of the original faaA disruptant. Our study provides guidance for further gene modification for FFA biosynthesis in A. oryzae and for enhancing the productivity of other metabolites in other microorganisms through metabolic engineering.