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Microbiologyopen. 2016 Feb;5(1):60-9. doi: 10.1002/mbo3.311. Epub 2015 Nov 9.

The selective expression of carbonic anhydrase genes of Aspergillus nidulans in response to changes in mineral nutrition and CO2 concentration.

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Jiangsu Key Laboratory for Microbes and Functional Genomics, Jiangsu Engineering and Technology Research Center for Microbiology, College of Life Sciences, Nanjing Normal University, Nanjing, 210023, China.
Key Laboratory of Coastal Environmental Processes and Ecological Remediation, Yantai Institute of Coastal Zone Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Yantai, 264003, China.


Carbonic anhydrase (CA) plays an important role in the formation and evolution of life. However, to our knowledge, there has been no report on CA isoenzyme function differentiation in fungi. Two different CA gene sequences in Aspergillus nidulans with clear genetic background provide us a favorable basis for studying function differentiation of CA isoenzymes. Heterologously expressed CA1 was used to test its weathering ability on silicate minerals and real-time quantitative PCR was used to detect expression of the CA1 and CA2 genes at different CO2 concentrations and in the presence of different potassium sources. The northern blot method was applied to confirm the result of CA1 gene expression. Heterologously expressed CA1 significantly promoted dissolution of biotite and wollastonite, and CA1 gene expression increased significantly in response to soluble K-deficiency. The northern blot test further showed that CA1 participated in K-feldspar weathering. In addition, the results showed that CA2 was primary involved in adapting to CO2 concentration change. Taken together, A. nidulans can choose different CA to meet their survival needs, which imply that some environmental microbes have evolved different CAs to adapt to changes in CO2 concentration and acquire mineral nutrition so that they can better adapt to environmental changes. Inversely, their adaption may impact mineral weathering and/or CO2 concentration, and even global change.


Aspergillus nidulans; CO2 adaption; carbonic anhydrase; isoenzyme; mineral weathering

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