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Title: Rapid deletion plasmid construction methods for protoplast and Agrobacterium based fungal transformation systems

item GARCIA-PEDRAJAS, MARIA - Ministry Of Science And Innovation, Csic
item PAZ, ZAHI - University Of Georgia
item ANDREWS, DAVID - University Of Georgia
item BAEZA-MONTANEZ, LOURDES - Ministry Of Science And Innovation, Csic
item Gold, Scott

Submitted to: Laboratory Protocols in Fungal Biology
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/14/2011
Publication Date: 12/6/2012
Citation: Garcia-Pedrajas, M.D., Paz, Z., Andrews, D.L., Baeza-Montanez, L., Gold, S.E. 2012. Rapid deletion plasmid construction methods for protoplast and Agrobacterium based fungal transformation systems. In: Gupta, V., Tuohy, M., Ayyachamy, M., Turner, K., O'Donovan, A., editors. Laboratory Protocols in Fungal Biology. New York, NY: Springer-Verlag New York Inc. p. 375-394.

Interpretive Summary: An effective and widely used approach to determining the function of genes is by their removal. The generated mutants are informative because changes in the organism’s behavior suggest the roles that the deleted gene plays in the wild type. Two commonly used methods of transformation in fungi involve either production of protoplasts by enzymatic cell wall removal followed by chemical treatment in the presence of DNA or the use of Agrobacterium to introduce DNA into intact fungal cells. We have developed rapid and robust methods for making the DNA constructs for deleting individual genes from fungi by either method. This chapter details the protocols involved in this methodology.

Technical Abstract: Increasing availability of genomic data and sophistication of analytical methodology in fungi has elevated the need for functional genomics tools in these organisms. Gene deletion is a critical tool for functional analysis. The targeted deletion of genes requires both a suitable method for the transfer of foreign DNA to fungal cells and the generation of deletion constructs. The deletion constructs should contain the regions flanking the gene of interest, while the ORF is replaced by a DNA fragment harboring a marker that allows selection of cells transformed with this foreign DNA. Deletion mutants are produced upon transformation by integration of this construct into the fungal genome by homologous recombination. Protoplasts have been widely used as starting material for genetic transformation in fungal species. However, a number of fungi have proven to be recalcitrant to protoplast-mediated transformation (PMT). Among the alternative methodologies developed for those species Agrobacterium tumefaciens-mediated transformation (ATMT) has been particularly successful, becoming the preferred genetic transformation method for an increasing number of fungi. Here we describe two methods to rapidly generate plasmid based gene deletion constructs, named DelsGate and OSCAR, which are compatible with PMT and ATMT, respectively. Both procedures are based on PCR of the target gene flanks and Gateway cloning technology, allowing generation of deletion constructs in a very simple and robust manner in as little as 2 days. Gateway vectors have been modified so that a single Gateway cloning step generates the deletion construct itself. The PCR and transformation steps these methodologies involve should be well suited for high-throughput approaches to gene deletion construction in fungal species in which either of the two major DNA transformation methods, PMT or ATMT, are used. We describe here the entire processes, from the generation of the deletion constructs to the analysis of the fungal transformants for gene replacement confirmation, with the Basidiomycete fungus Ustilago maydis for DelsGate and PMT, and with the Ascomycete fungus Verticillium dahliae for OSCAR and ATMT.