Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, Vol.105, No.2, 679-694, 2021
Involvement of phospholipase PLA(2) in production of cellulase and xylanase by Penicillium oxalicum
Phospholipases play vital roles in immune and inflammatory responses in mammals and plants; however, knowledge of phospholipase functions in fungi is limited. In this study, we investigated the effects of deleting predicted phospholipase genes on cellulase and xylanase production, and morphological phenotype, in Penicillium oxalicum. Individual deletion of nine of the ten predicted phospholipase genes resulted in alteration of cellulase and xylanase production, and the morphological phenotypes, to various degrees. The mutant increment POX07277 lost 22.5 to 82.8% of cellulase (i.e., filter paper cellulase, carboxymethylcellulase, and p-nitrophenyl-beta-cellobiosidase) and xylanase production, whereas p-nitrophenyl-beta-glucopyranosidase production increased by 5.8-127.8 fold. POX07277 (P. oxalicum gene No. 07277) was predicted to encode phospholipase A2 and was found to negatively affect the sporulation of P. oxalicum. Comparative transcriptomic and quantitative reverse transcription-PCR analysis indicated that POX07277 dynamically affected the expression of cellulase and xylanase genes and the regulatory genes for fungal sporulation, under micro-crystalline cellulose induction. POX07277 was required for the expression of the known regulatory gene PoxCxrB (cellulolytic and xylanolytic regulator B in P. oxalicum), which is involved in cellulase and xylanase gene expression in P. oxalicum. Conversely, POX07277 expression was regulated by PoxCxrB. These findings will aid the understanding of phospholipase functions and provide novel insights into the mechanism of fungal cellulase and xylanase gene expression.