Aspergillus neoniger NCIM 1400 whose cell-free fraction was earlier established for transglycosylation activity conferred by α-glucosidase gene (agdA), was subjected to sequence analysis. Preliminary results revealed certain dynamics in the intron splicing mechanism, and to ascertain these molecular events, a detailed study was carried. The electrophoresis results from the cDNA portion (B-fragment) of agdA showed multiple bands, indicating the amplification of one or more fragments. The sequence results of cDNA cloned vector revealed the retention type of alternative splicing in the agdA. The splicing mechanism of agdA in NCIM 1400 was compared to different A. niger strains, which harbours agdA orthologues, using PCR. It was observed that effective intron splicing leads to higher α-glucosidase activity from these selected Aspergillus spp. To explore the dynamics of intron retention in A. neoniger NCIM 1400, time-course analysis of intron retention, enzyme activity, and sugar consumption were carried over a period of 168 h of fungal growth. RT-qPCR results revealed that introns retention was not detected during the initial growth phase when the maltose and its hydrolysed product, glucose were consumed. Here we demonstrate that exhaustion of maltose causes increase in retention of introns in the mRNA transcripts of agdA gene, and this could be the possible mode of regulating this gene.
Keywords: Alternative splicing; Aspergillus neoniger; Intron retention; agdA; α-glucosidase.
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