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J Microbiol Methods. 2011 Mar;84(3):442-6. doi: 10.1016/j.mimet.2011.01.002. Epub 2011 Jan 21.

High reliability transformation of the basal fungus Mucor circinelloides by electroporation.

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Departamento de Genética y Microbiología (Unidad asociada al IQFR-CSIC), Facultad de Biología, Universidad de Murcia, 30071 Murcia, Spain.


Molecular approaches to study the biology of the zygomycete Mucor circinelloides depend mainly on the existence of a polyethylene glycol-based transformation method, which is one of the most efficient in zygomycete fungi. However, the poor reliability and low transformation rates of this method are major obstacles in the molecular study of a number of biological processes. This paper describes an easy and reliable method to transform M. circinelloides protoplasts by electroporation. A high-voltage pulse of 25μF capacitance, 400Ω resistance, and 4kV/cm field strength were seen to be the optimal electrical conditions for delivering DNA into M. circinelloides protoplasts. Under these electrical conditions, successful transformations were carried out with several self-replicative plasmid and strain combinations, producing up to more than 500 transformants per μg DNA. Targeted DNA integration of a transgene (atfA gene of Acinetobacter baylyi) in a particular locus (carRP) was also achieved. This transformation method will considerably facilitate in-depth molecular genetic studies of the biology of this fungus.

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