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Chitin synthases, that catalyze the formation of chitin the major component of cell walls in most filamentous fungi, play crucial roles in the growth and morphogenesis. To investigate the roles of chitin synthase in Penicillium chrysogenum, we developed an RNAi system to silence the class III chitin synthase gene chs4. After transformation, mutants had a slow growth rate and shorter but highly branched hyphae. All transformants either were unable to form conidia or could form only a few. Changes in chs4 expression could lead to a completely different morphology and eventually cause distinct penicillin yields. In particular, the yield of one transformant was 41 % higher than that of the original strain.


Hui Liu, Peng Wang, Guohong Gong, Li Wang, Genhai Zhao, Zhiming Zheng. Morphology engineering of Penicillium chrysogenum by RNA silencing of chitin synthase gene. Biotechnology letters. 2013 Mar;35(3):423-9

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PMID: 23187754

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