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Front. Microbiol. | doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2019.02675

Genetic transformation of the filamentous fungus Pseudogymnoascus verrucosus of Antarctic origin

  • 1Faculty of Sciences, University of Chile, Chile
  • 2Facultad de Química y Biología, Universidad de Santiago, Chile
  • 3Autonomous Metropolitan University, Iztapalapa, Mexico

Cold-adapted fungi isolated from Antarctica, in particular those belonging to the genus Pseudogymnoascus, are producers of secondary metabolites with interesting bioactive properties as well as enzymes with potential biotechnological applications. However, at genetic level, the study of these fungi has been hindered by the lack of suitable genetic tools such as transformation systems. In fungi, the availability of transformation systems is key to address the functional analysis of genes related with the production of a particular metabolite or enzyme. To the best of our knowledge, the transformation of Pseudogymnoascus strains of Antarctic origin has not been achieved yet. In this work, we describe for the first time the successful transformation of a Pseudogymnoascus verrucosus strain of Antarctic origin, using two methodologies: the polyethylene glycol (PEG)-mediated transformation, and the electroporation of germinated conidia. We achieved transformation efficiencies of 15.87 ± 5.16 transformants per µg of DNA and 2.67 ± 1.15 transformants per µg of DNA for PEG-mediated transformation and electroporation of germinated conidia, respectively. These results indicate that PEG-mediated transformation is a very efficient method for the transformation of this Antarctic fungus. The genetic transformation of Pseudogymnoascus verrucosus described in this work represents the first example of transformation of a filamentous fungus of Antarctic origin.

Keywords: transformation, Pseudogymnoascus, Protoplasts, Electroporation, Antarctica

Received: 30 Aug 2019; Accepted: 04 Nov 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Diaz, Villanueva, Oliva, Gil-Duran, Fierro, Chavez and Vaca. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence:
Dr. Renato Chavez, Facultad de Química y Biología, Universidad de Santiago, Santiago, Santiago Metropolitan Region (RM), Chile, renato.chavez@usach.cl
Dr. Inmaculada Vaca, Faculty of Sciences, University of Chile, Santiago, 3425, Santiago Metropolitan Region (RM), Chile, inmavaca@uchile.cl