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© Research
Publication : Genetics

Characterization of essential genes by parasexual genetics in the human fungal pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus: impact of genomic rearrangements associated with electroporation of DNA

Scientific Fields
Diseases
Organisms
Applications
Technique

Published in Genetics - 01 Jul 2002

Firon A, Beauvais A, Latgé JP, Couvé E, Grosjean-Cournoyer MC, D'Enfert C

Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 12136012

Genetics 2002 Jul;161(3):1077-87

We have evaluated the usefulness of parasexual genetics in the identification of genes essential for the growth of the human fungal pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus. First, essentiality of the A. fumigatus AfFKS1 gene, encoding the catalytic subunit of the beta-(1,3)-glucan synthase complex, was assessed by inactivating one allele of AfFKS1 in a diploid strain of A. fumigatus obtained using adequate selectable markers in spore color and nitrate utilization pathways and by performing haploidization under conditions that select for the occurrence of the disrupted allele. Haploid progeny could not be obtained, demonstrating that AfFKS1 and, hence, beta-(1,3)-glucan synthesis are essential in A. fumigatus. Second, random heterozygous insertional mutants were generated by electroporation of diploid conidia with a heterologous plasmid. A total of 4.5% of the transformants failed to produce haploid progeny on selective medium. Genomic analysis of these heterozygous diploids led in particular to the identification of an essential A. fumigatus gene encoding an SMC-like protein resembling one in Schizosacccharomyces pombe involved in chromosome condensation and cohesion. However, significant plasmid and genomic DNA rearrangements were observed at many of the identified genomic loci where plasmid integration had occurred, thus suggesting that the use of electroporation to build libraries of A. fumigatus insertional mutants has relatively limited value and cannot be used in an exhaustive search of essential genes.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12136012