Efficient genome editing in Aspergillus niger with an improved recyclable CRISPR-HDR toolbox and its application in introducing multiple copies of heterologous genes.J Microbiol Methods. 2019 08; 163:105655.JM
Aspergillus niger is an important industrial producer of enzymes due to its high capacity for producing exocellular secretory proteins. The CRISPR/Cas9 system has been developed as a genetic manipulation tool in A. niger. However, only the basic functions of the CRISPR/Cas9 system, such as codon optimization of Cas9 nucleases and promoter screening of guide RNA (gRNA) expression, have been developed in A. niger. The CRISPR/Cas9 system for manipulating large genomic fragments and multiple gene knock-ins still needs to be established. Here, we improved the CRISPR/Cas9 homologous direct repair (CRISPR-HDR) tool box based on donor DNAs (dDNAs) and plasmid harboring AMA1 and the pyrG marker, allowing recycling of pyrG and Cas9 components. Furthermore, we used the CRISPR-HDR tool box to knock out the 0 kb (protospacer only), 2 kb, 10 kb and even 50 kb gene fragments. This CRISPR-HDR tool box could also be used to simultaneously knock in multiple genes at the loci of two highly expressed extracellular secreted proteins, glucoamylase A (glaA) and alpha-amylase (amyA, two copies). In our study, two or three copies of glucose oxidase (goxC) were precisely knocked in at the loci of amyA and glaA, resulting in 4-fold increased enzyme activity (869.86 U/mL). This CRISPR-HDR tool box can be easily manipulated, and the AMA1-based plasmid can be easily removed under selective pressure of 5-fluoroorotic acid and uridine.