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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Comparative genomics of citric-acid producing Aspergillus niger ATCC 1015 versus enzyme-producing CBS 513.88


The filamentous fungus Aspergillus niger exhibits great diversity in its phenotype. It is found globally, both as marine and terrestrial strains, produces both organic acids and hydrolytic enzymes in high amounts, and some isolates exhibit pathogenicity. Although the genome of an industrial enzyme-producing A. niger strain (CBS 513.88) has already been sequenced, the versatility and diversity of this species compels additional exploration. We therefore undertook whole genome sequencing of the acidogenic A. niger wild type strain (ATCC 1015), and produced a genome sequence of very high quality. Only 15 gaps are present in the sequence and half the telomeric regions have been elucidated. Moreover, sequence information from ATCC 1015 was utilized to improve the genome sequence of CBS 513.88. Chromosome-level comparisons uncovered several genome rearrangements, deletions, a clear case of strain-specific horizontal gene transfer, and identification of 0.8 megabase of novel sequence. Single nucleotide polymorphisms per kilobase (SNPs/kb) between the two strains were found to be exceptionally high (average: 7.8, maximum: 160 SNPs/kb). High variation within the species was confirmed with exo-metabolite profiling and phylogenetics. Detailed lists of alleles were generated, and genotypic differences were observed to accumulate in metabolic pathways essential to acid production and protein synthesis. A transcriptome analysis revealed up-regulation of the electron transport chain, specifically the alternative oxidative pathway in ATCC 1015, while CBS 513.88 showed significant up-regulation of genes relevant to glucoamylase A production, such as tRNA-synthases and protein transporters. Our results and datasets from this integrative systems biology analysis resulted in a snapshot of fungal evolution and will support further optimization of cell factories based on filamentous fungi. [Supplemental materials (10 figures, three text documents and 16 tables) have been made available. The whole genome sequence for A. niger ATCC 1015 is available from NBCI under acc. no ACJE00000000. The up-dated sequence for A. niger CBS 513.88 is available from EMBL under acc. no AM269948-AM270415. The sequence data from the phylogeny study has been submitted to NCBI (GU296686-296739). Microarray data from this study is submitted to GEO as series GSE10983. Accession for reviewers is possible through: token GSE10983] The dsmM_ANIGERa_coll511030F library and platform information is deposited at GEO under number GPL6758

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