Aspergillus in Biotechnology

Brand Recter, Martin Tegelaar, David Aerts, Wieke Teertstra
Han Wösten 

Fungi secrete large amounts of enzymes that are released into their culture medium. This is why they are used as cell factories for the production of proteins that are of industrial or medical interest. Fungi such as Aspergillus niger are grown in large bioreactors in an industrial setting. In such bioreactors they form micro-colonies that are up to a few mm in diameter. We have shown that these micro-colonies are heterogeneous with respect to size, gene activity, and product formation. We aim to unravel the mechanisms that underly this heterogeneity and to use this knowledge to improve productivity of fungal cell factories. For this we use innovative techniques such as particle sorting, whole genome sequencing, laser dissection and RNA seq. 

This project is performed in collaboration with companies and the University of Leiden and financially supported by STW, ALW and BE BASIC.