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J Microbiol Methods. 2010 Jun;81(3):240-6. doi: 10.1016/j.mimet.2010.03.010. Epub 2010 Mar 16.

Development and refinement of a high-efficiency gene-targeting system for Aspergillus flavus.

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Southern Regional Research Center, Agricultural Research Service, U. S. Department of Agriculture, 1100 Robert E. Lee Boulevard, New Orleans, LA 70124, USA.


An efficient gene-targeting system based on impairment of the nonhomologous end-joining pathway and the orotidine monophosphate decarboxylase gene (pyrG) in Aspergillus flavus was established. It was achieved by replacing the ku70 gene with the Aspergillus oryzae pyrithiamine resistance (ptr) gene and by inserting the Aspergillus parasiticus cypA gene into the pyrG locus. The utility of this system was demonstrated by disruption of nine candidate genes for conidial pigment biosynthesis. The gene-targeting frequencies ranged from 80 to 100%. Two linked genes on chromosome 4, wA and olgA, were confirmed to be involved in pigment formation. In contrast to the parental strain which produced yellowish-green conidia, the knockout mutants produced white and olive-green conidia, respectively. The system was further refined by restoring the pyrithiamine sensitivity and uracil auxotrophy in the A. flavus transformation recipient with an engineered pyrG marker. The improvement allowed gene manipulation using the reusable pyrG marker as shown by the restoration of laeA-mediated aflatoxin production in an A. flavus laeA-deleted mutant.

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