Transcriptional monitoring of steady state and effects of anaerobic phases in chemostat cultures of the filamentous fungus Trichoderma reesei

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Abstract

Background: Chemostat cultures are commonly used in production of cellular material for systems-wide biological studies. We have used the novel TRAC (transcript analysis with aid of affinity capture) method to study expression stability of approximately 30 process relevant marker genes in chemostat cultures of the filamentous fungus Trichoderma reesei and its transformant expressing laccase from Melanocarpus albomyces. Transcriptional responses caused by transient oxygen deprivations and production of foreign protein were also studied in T. reesei by TRAC. Results: In cultures with good steady states, the expression of the marker genes varied less than 20% on average between sequential samples for at least 5 or 6 residence times. However, in a number of T. reesei cultures continuous flow did not result in a good steady state. Perturbations to the steady state were always evident at the transcriptional level, even when they were not measurable as changes in biomass or product concentrations. Both unintentional and intentional perturbations of the steady state demonstrated that a number of genes involved in growth, protein production and secretion are sensitive markers for culture disturbances. Exposure to anaerobic conditions caused strong responses at the level of gene expression, but surprisingly the cultures could regain their previous steady state quickly, even after 3 h O2 depletion. The main effect of producing M. albomyces laccase was down-regulation of the native cellulases compared with the host strain. Conclusion: This study demonstrates the usefulness of transcriptional analysis by TRAC in ensuring the quality of chemostat cultures prior to costly and laborious genome-wide analysis. In addition TRAC was shown to be an efficient tool in studying gene expression dynamics in transient conditions.
Original languageEnglish
Article number247
Number of pages15
JournalBMC Genomics
Volume7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2006
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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