Lichtheimia corymbifera is considered as one of the most frequent agents of mucormycosis. The lack of efficient genetic manipulation tools hampers the characterization of the pathomechanisms and virulence factors of this opportunistic pathogenic fungus. Although such techniques have been described for certain species, the performance of targeted mutagenesis and the construction of stable transformants have remained a great challenge in Mucorales fungi. In the present study, a plasmid-free CRISPR-Cas9 system was applied to carry out a targeted gene disruption in L. corymbifera. The described method is based on the non-homologous end-joining repair of the double-strand break caused by the Cas9 enzyme. Using this method, short, one-to-five nucleotide long-targeted deletions could be induced in the orotidine 5'-phosphate decarboxylase gene (pyrG) and, as a result, uracil auxotrophic strains were constructed. These strains are applicable as recipient strains in future gene manipulation studies. As we know, this is the first genetic modification of this clinically relevant fungus.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology
- Computer Science Applications
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Organic Chemistry
- Inorganic Chemistry