Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, Vol.105, No.18, 6887-6898, 2021
Improved production of beta-glucan by a T-DNA-based mutant of Aureobasidium pullulans
To improve beta-1,3-1,6-D-glucan (beta-glucan) production by Aureobasidium pullulans, an Agrobacterium tumefaciens-mediated transformation method was developed to screen a mutant A. pullulans CGMCC 19650. Based on thermal asymmetric-interlaced PCR detection, DNA sequencing, BLAST analysis, and quantitative real-time PCR assay, the T-DNA was identified to be inserted in the coding region of mal31 gene, which encodes a sugar transporter involved in pullulan biosynthesis in the mutant. The maximal biomass and beta-glucan production under batch fermentation were significantly increased by 47.6% and 78.6%, respectively, while pullulan production was decreased by 41.7% in the mutant, as compared to the parental strain A. pullulans CCTCC M 2012259. Analysis of the physiological mechanism of these changes revealed that mal31 gene disruption increased the transcriptional levels of pgm2, ugp, fks1, and kre6 genes; increased the amounts of key enzymes associated with UDPG and beta-glucan biosynthesis; and improved intracellular UDPG contents and energy supply, all of which favored beta-glucan production. However, the T-DNA insertion decreased the transcriptional levels of ags2 genes, and reduced the biosynthetic capability to form pullulan, resulting in the decrease in pullulan production. This study not only provides an effective approach for improved beta-glucan production by A. pullulans, but also presents an accurate and useful gene for metabolic engineering of the producer for efficient polysaccharide production.