Aspergillus oryzae atfB encodes a transcription factor required for stress tolerance in conidia


Sakamoto K, Arima TH, Iwashita K, Yamada O, Gomi K, Akita O

Date: 4 June 2008


Using an Aspergillus oryzae EST database, we identified a gene encoding a transcription factor (atfB), which is a member of the ATF/CREB family. Expression of atfB was barely detectable during vegetative growth, but was readily detected during conidiation in solid-state culture. Microarray analyses showed that expression of many other genes, including catalase (catA), were downregulated in an atfB-disruptant. The expression of most of these genes was upregulated in the wild-type strain during the conidiation phase in solid-state culture, and the expression pattern was similar to that of atfB itself. In the absence of stress, e.g. heat-shock or hydrogen peroxide, the conidial germination ratios for the DeltaatfB strain and the wild-type strain were similar, but the stress tolerance of conidia carrying the DeltaatfB deletion was less than that of the wild-type conidia. CRE-like DNA motifs, which are bound by ATF/CREB proteins, were found in the promoters of most of the downregulated genes in the DeltaatfB strain. Thus, atfB appears to encode a transcription factor required for stress tolerance in conidia.

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