The FlbA-regulated predicted transcription factor Fum21 of Aspergillus niger is involved in fumonisin production

David Aerts, Esther E. Hauer, Robin A. Ohm, Mark Arentshorst, Wieke R. Teertstra, Christopher Phippen, Arthur F. J. Ram, Jens Christian Frisvad, Han A. B. Wösten*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

Aspergillus niger secretes proteins throughout the colony except for the zone that forms asexual spores called conidia. Inactivation of flbA that encodes a regulator of G-protein signaling results in colonies that are unable to reproduce asexually and that secrete proteins throughout the mycelium. In addition, the ΔflbA strain shows cell lysis and has thinner cell walls. Expression analysis showed that 38 predicted transcription factor genes are differentially expressed in strain ΔflbA. Here, the most down-regulated predicted transcription factor gene, called fum21, was inactivated. Growth, conidiation, and protein secretion were not affected in strain Δfum21. Whole genome expression analysis revealed that 63 and 11 genes were down- and up-regulated in Δfum21, respectively, when compared to the wild-type strain. Notably, 24 genes predicted to be involved in secondary metabolism were down-regulated in Δfum21, including 10 out of 12 genes of the fumonisin cluster. This was accompanied by absence of fumonisin production in the deletion strain and a 25% reduction in production of pyranonigrin A. Together, these results link FlbA-mediated sporulation-inhibited secretion with mycotoxin production.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAntonie Van Leeuwenhoek
Volume111
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)311-322
ISSN0003-6072
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Bibliographical note

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

Keywords

  • Asexual development
  • Aspergillus
  • Fumonisin
  • Fungus
  • Mycotoxin
  • Protein secretion
  • Secondary metabolism

Cite this

Aerts, D., Hauer, E. E., Ohm, R. A., Arentshorst, M., Teertstra, W. R., Phippen, C., ... Wösten, H. A. B. (2018). The FlbA-regulated predicted transcription factor Fum21 of Aspergillus niger is involved in fumonisin production. Antonie Van Leeuwenhoek, 111(3), 311-322. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10482-017-0952-1