Three-Dimensional Genome Map of the Filamentous Fungus Penicillium oxalicum

Microbiol Spectr. 2022 Jun 29;10(3):e0212121. doi: 10.1128/spectrum.02121-21. Epub 2022 May 2.


Higher-order spatial organization of the chromatin in the nucleus plays crucial roles in the maintenance of cell functions and the regulation of gene expression. Three-dimensional (3D) genome sequencing has been used to great effect in mammal and plants, but the availability of 3D genomes of filamentous fungi is severely limited. Here, we performed a chromosome-level genome assembly of Penicillium oxalicum through single-molecule real-time sequencing (Pacific Biosciences) and chromatin interaction mapping (Hi-C), with a scaffold N50 of 4.07 Mb and a contig N50 of 3.81 Mb, and further elucidated the 3D genome architecture of P. oxalicum. High-frequency interchromosomal contacts occurred within the centromeres and telomeres, as well as within individual chromosomes. There were 12,203 cis-interactions and 7,884 trans-interactions detected at a resolution of 1 kb. Moreover, a total of 1,099 topologically associated domains (or globules) were found, ranging in size from 2.0 to 76.0 kb. Interestingly, transcription factor-bound motifs were enriched in the globule boundaries. All the cellulase and xylanase genes were discretely distributed in the 3D model of the P. oxalicum genome as a result of few cis- and trans-interactions. Our results from this study provide a global view of chromatin interactions in the P. oxalicum genome and will act as a resource for studying spatial regulation of gene expression in filamentous fungi. IMPORTANCE The spatial structure of chromatin plays important roles in normal cell functions and the regulation of gene expression. The three-dimensional (3D) architectures of the genomes of many mammals and plants have been elucidated, but corresponding studies on filamentous fungi, which play vital roles as decomposers of organic matter in the soil, are very limited. Penicillium oxalicum is one of the predominant cellulolytic aerobic fungi in subtropical and tropical forest soils and can secrete integrative cellulase and xylanase under integrated regulatory control, degrading plant biomass highly efficiently. In the present study, we employed Hi-C technology to construct the 3D genome model of P. oxalicum strain HP7-1 and to further investigate cellulase and xylanase as well as transcription factor genes in 3D genome. These results provide a resource to achieve a deeper understanding of cell function and the regulation of gene expression in filamentous fungi.

Keywords: Penicillium oxalicum; cellulase; chromatin interaction; globule; three-dimensional genome.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cellulase* / genetics
  • Cellulase* / metabolism
  • Chromatin
  • Fungi / genetics
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Fungal*
  • Penicillium
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism


  • Chromatin
  • Transcription Factors
  • Cellulase

Supplementary concepts

  • Penicillium oxalicum