Novel transcriptomics approaches for metabolic pathway engineering target identification in Aspergillus.

. Peter J. Punt, Martien Caspers, Marvin Steijaert, Eric Schoen, Machtelt Braaksma

Author address: 

Microbiology, TNO, Zeist, Netherlands.


Among filamentous fungi Aspergillus sp. are well known production host for several organic acids. These acids, traditionally being food ingredients, more recently have gained attention as platform or building-block chemicals. These chemicals, currently mostly produced based on petrochemistry, are the starting point for the production of a wide variety of materials, such as resins, plastics, etc. Production of these compounds via biobased routes will be a major contribution towards a Biobased Economy. For the production of these bulk compounds robust host organisms are required, suitable for using low cost lignocellulose-based feedstocks, resistant against adverse conditions due to inhibitory feedstock compounds and capable of coping with high product concentrations. A. niger was shown to fulfill most of these prerequisites (Rumbold et al., 2009).Based on the extended molecular genetic toolkit systems biology approaches were developed for A. niger and other fungi (e.g. Braaksma et al., 2010). These approaches were followed towards production of these platform chemicals in A. niger, as demonstrated by the example of itaconic acid (Li et al., 2011, 2012). The recent development of novel high throughput sequence methods has led to new much more efficient transcriptomics approaches such as RNAseq. Combination of these approaches with novel experimental design and statistical methods for targetgene identification in metabolic pathway engineering will be illustrated. Rumbold, K., van Buijsen, H.J.J., Overkamp, K.M., van Groenestijn, J.W., Punt, P.J., Werf, M.J.V.D. (2009) Microbial production host selection for converting second-generation feedstocks into bioproducts. Microbial Cell Factories 8, art. no. 64 Braaksma, M., van den Berg, R.A., van der Werf, M.J., Punt, P.J. (2010) A Top-Down Systems Biology Approach for the Identification of Targets for Fungal Strain and Process Development. In: Cellular and Molecular Biology of Filamentous Fungi. Eds: K.A. Borkovich & D.J. Ebbole ASM Press, Washington DC. pp. 25-35 Li, A., van Luijk, N., ter Beek, M., Caspers, M., Punt, P., van der Werf, M. (2011) A clone-based transcriptomics approach for the identification of genes relevant for itaconic acid production in Aspergillus. Fungal Genetics and Biology 48 (6), pp. 602-611.

abstract No: 


Full conference title: 

27th Fungal Genetics Conference
    • FGC 27th (2013)