Agrobacterium tumefaciens-mediated transformation of filamentous fungi

Nat Biotechnol. 1998 Sep;16(9):839-42. doi: 10.1038/nbt0998-839.


Agrobacterium tumefaciens transfers part of its Ti plasmid, the T-DNA, to plant cells during tumorigenesis. It is routinely used for the genetic modification of a wide range of plant species. We report that A. tumefaciens can also transfer its T-DNA efficiently to the filamentous fungus Aspergillus awamori, demonstrating DNA transfer between a prokaryote and a filamentous fungus. We transformed both protoplasts and conidia with frequencies that were improved up to 600-fold as compared with conventional techniques for transformation of A. awamori protoplasts. The majority of the A. awamori transformants contained a single T-DNA copy randomly integrated at a chromosomal locus. The T-DNA integrated into the A. awamori genome in a manner similar to that described for plants. We also transformed a variety of other filamentous fungi, including Aspergillus niger, Fusarium venenatum, Trichoderma reesei, Colletotrichum gloeosporioides, Neurospora crassa, and the mushroom Agaricus bisporus, demonstrating that transformation using A. tumefaciens is generally applicable to filamentous fungi.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Agrobacterium tumefaciens / genetics*
  • Base Sequence
  • Blotting, Southern
  • DNA, Bacterial / genetics*
  • Fungi / genetics*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Species Specificity
  • Transformation, Genetic*


  • DNA, Bacterial
  • T-DNA