The P-type ATPase CrpA is an important Cu2+/Cd2+ pump in the Aspergilli, significantly contributing to the heavy metal stress tolerance of these ascomycetous fungi. As expected, the deletion of crpA resulted in Cu2+/Cd2+-sensitive phenotypes in Aspergillus nidulans on stress agar plates inoculated with conidia. Nevertheless, paradoxical growth stimulations were observed with the ΔcrpA strain in both standard Cu2+ stress agar plate experiments and cellophane colony harvest (CCH) cultures, when exposed to Cd2+. These observations reflect efficient compensatory mechanisms for the loss of CrpA operating under these experimental conditions. It is remarkable that the ΔcrpA strain showed a 2.7 times higher Cd biosorption capacity in CCH cultures, which may facilitate the development of new, fungal biomass-based bioremediation technologies to extract harmful Cd2+ ions from the environment. The nullification of crpA also significantly changed the spatial distribution of Cu and Cd in CCH cultures, as demonstrated by the combined particle-induced X-ray emission and scanning transmission ion microscopy technique. Most important, the centers of gravity for Cu and Cd accumulations of the ΔcrpA colonies shifted toward the older regions as compared with wild-type surface cultures.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology