J Fungi (Basel). 2022 Apr 30;8(5):467. doi: 10.3390/jof8050467.
Aspergillus, a genus of filamentous fungi, is extensively distributed in nature and plays crucial roles in the decomposition of organic materials as an important environmental microorganism as well as in the traditional fermentation and food processing industries. Furthermore, due to their strong potential to secrete a large variety of hydrolytic enzymes and other natural products by manipulating gene expression and/or introducing new biosynthetic pathways, several Aspergillus species have been widely exploited as microbial cell factories. In recent years, with the development of next-generation genome sequencing technology and genetic engineering methods, the production and utilization of various homo-/heterologous-proteins and natural products in Aspergillus species have been well studied. As a newly developed genome editing technology, the clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats/CRISPR-associated protein 9 (CRISPR/Cas9) system has been used to edit and modify genes in Aspergilli. So far, the CRISPR/Cas9-based approach has been widely employed to improve the efficiency of gene modification in the strain type Aspergillus nidulans and other industrially important and pathogenic Aspergillus species, including Aspergillus oryzae, Aspergillus niger, and Aspergillus fumigatus. This review highlights the current development of CRISPR/Cas9-based genome editing technology and its application in basic research and the production of recombination proteins and natural products in the Aspergillus species.