CRISPR/Cpf1-mediated mutagenesis and gene deletion in industrial filamentous fungi Aspergillus oryzae and Aspergillus sojae
J Biosci Bioeng. 2022 Jan 28:S1389-1723(21)00369-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jbiosc.2021.12.017. Online ahead of print.
In industrial applications such as fermentation and heterologous protein production, various Aspergillus oryzae and A. sojae strains are used. Although genetic engineering techniques have been developed for these filamentous fungi, applying such classical techniques to many strains is difficult. Therefore, the establishment of innovative technologies applicable to various industrial strains is required. We previously developed a genome editing technology using the CRISPR/Cas9 system for the efficient genetic engineering of A. oryzae; however, this system is limited by its protospacer adjacent motif sequence. In A. sojae, no genetic engineering using genome editing has been developed. In this study, we aimed to develop a genome editing technology using the Cpf1 nuclease for the genetic engineering of A. oryzae and A. sojae. AMA1-based genome editing vectors bearing codon-optimized cpf1 expression cassettes were constructed, and guide RNA expression cassettes were inserted into the Cpf1 genome editing vectors. Using the resultant plasmids, we performed mutagenesis of the AowA and sC genes in A. oryzae and the AswA gene in A. sojae. We deleted these genes by co-introducing the Cpf1 genome editing plasmid and the donor plasmid. Our study demonstrates that the CRISPR/Cpf1 system can be used as an efficient alternative to the CRISPR/Cas9 system to genetically engineer A. oryzae and as a new approach for efficient genetic engineering of A. sojae.