Efficient integrative transformation of the phytopathogenic fungus Alternaria alternata mediated by the repetitive rDNA sequences

Gene. 1990 Jun 15;90(2):207-14. doi: 10.1016/0378-1119(90)90181-p.


An attempt was made to transform Alternaria alternata protoplasts using a plasmid vector, pDH25, bearing the Escherichia coli hygromycin B (Hy) phosphotransferase gene (hph) under the control of the Aspergillus nidulans trpC promoter. Transformants arose on a selective medium containing 100 micrograms Hy/ml. There were two types of transformants, forming large and small colonies on the selective medium. Transformation with one microgram of the vector produced an average of 4.5 large colonies and 600 small ones. In large-colony transformants, the vector often integrated into the recipient chromosome in the form of highly rearranged tandem arrays. To increase transformation efficiency, fragments of the highly repetitive ribosomal RNA gene cluster (rDNA) of A. alternata were used to construct four new vectors for homologous recombination system. Use of these vectors gave higher transformation efficiency than the original plasmid. The best vector, pDH25r1a, gave rise to large-colony transformants at a frequency 20 times higher than pDH25. Transformation events in A. alternata with pDH25r1a occurred by homologous recombination as a single crossover between the plasmid-borne rDNA segment and its homologue in the chromosome, often giving rise to tandemly repeated vector DNA.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alternaria / drug effects
  • Alternaria / genetics*
  • Chromosome Mapping
  • DNA, Ribosomal / genetics*
  • Genetic Markers
  • Hygromycin B / pharmacology
  • Kanamycin Kinase
  • Mitosporic Fungi / genetics*
  • Phosphotransferases / genetics
  • Plasmids
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic
  • Recombination, Genetic
  • Repetitive Sequences, Nucleic Acid*
  • Sequence Homology, Nucleic Acid
  • Transformation, Genetic*


  • DNA, Ribosomal
  • Genetic Markers
  • Hygromycin B
  • Phosphotransferases
  • Kanamycin Kinase