The role of Acpbs2 in the asexual sporulation, stress response and carbon metabolism of Aspergillus cristatus
J Basic Microbiol. 2022 Oct 3. doi: 10.1002/jobm.202200325. Online ahead of print.
Aspergillus cristatus is the dominant fungus during the fermentation of Fuzhuan brick tea, hypotonic conditions only induced its sexual development to produce ascospores, while hypertonic conditions only induced its asexual development to produce conidia, indicating that osmotic stress can regulate spore production in A. cristatus. However, the underlying regulatory mechanism is unclear. In this study, the roles of Acpbs2, which is homologous to pbs2 from Saccharomyces cerevisiae, in sporulation, stress responses, the color of colonies, and carbon metabolism were explored in A. cristatus. Deletion mutants of Acpbs2 were obtained by homologous recombination. The time required to produce conidia was delayed, and the number of conidia produced was significantly reduced in hypertonic media in ΔAcpbs2 by phenotypic observations, indicating that Acpbs2 plays a positive role in asexual development. Stress sensitivity tests showed that the order of the sensitivity of ΔAcpbs2 to different osmotic regulators was 3 M NaCl > 3 M sucrose > 3 M sorbitol. Moreover, the deletion mutants were sensitive to high oxidative stress. The growth of the Acpbs2 deletion mutant was inhibited under alkaline-pH stress, indicating that Acpbs2 is involved in high pH stress tolerance. Additionally, compared with the wild type, the colony color of the Acpbs2 deletion mutant became lighter. All the above developmental defects were reversed by the reintroduction of the Acpbs2 gene in ΔAcpbs2. Transcriptome data showed that Acpbs2 regulated the expression of several genes related to conidial development, osmotic stress, oxidative stress, and carbon metabolism. More importantly, the interaction between Acpbs2 and its downstream gene Achog1 was verified by yeast two-hybrid assays. We speculated that this interaction might regulate the osmotic stress response, the oxidative stress response, and asexual sporulation in A. cristatus, which will be one of the focuses of our future research.