A Further Study on Chromosome Minimization by Protoplast Fusion in Aspergillus Oryzae

Mol Genet Genomics. 2012 Feb;287(2):177-87. doi: 10.1007/s00438-011-0669-1. Epub 2011 Dec 30.


Our goal in this work was to develop a method to minimize the chromosomes of Aspergillus oryzae, to arrive at a deeper understanding of essential gene functions that will help create more efficient industrially useful strains. In a previous study, we successfully constructed a highly reduced chromosome 7 using multiple large-scale chromosomal deletions (Jin et al. in Mol Genet Genomics 283:1-12, 2010). Here, we have created a further reduced chromosome A. oryzae mutant harboring a reduced chromosome 7 and a reduced chromosome 8 both of which contain a large number of non-syntenic blocks. These are the smallest A. oryzae chromosomes that have been reported. Protoplast fusion between the two distinct chromosome-reduced mutants produced a vigorous and stable fusant which was isolated. PCR and flow cytometry confirmed that two kinds of nuclei, derived from the parent strains, existed in this fusant and that the chromosome DNA per nucleus was doubled, suggesting that the fusant was a heterozygous diploid strain. By treating the cell with 1 μg/ml benomyl, cell nuclei haploidization was induced in the stable diploid strain. Array comparative genomic hybridization and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis confirmed that the reduced chromosomes 7 and 8 co-existed in the haploid fusant and that no other chromosomal modifications had occurred. This method provides a useful tool for chromosome engineering in A. oryzae to construct an industry-useful strain.

MeSH terms

  • Aspergillus oryzae / classification
  • Aspergillus oryzae / drug effects
  • Aspergillus oryzae / genetics*
  • Benomyl / pharmacology
  • Cell Fusion
  • Cell Nucleus / genetics
  • Chromosome Deletion*
  • Chromosomes, Fungal / genetics*
  • Comparative Genomic Hybridization
  • DNA, Fungal / genetics
  • Diploidy
  • Electrophoresis, Gel, Pulsed-Field
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Fungicides, Industrial / pharmacology
  • Genotype
  • Haploidy
  • Mutation
  • Phenotype
  • Protoplasts / cytology
  • Protoplasts / metabolism*


  • DNA, Fungal
  • Fungicides, Industrial
  • Benomyl