Caister Academic Press

Post-genomic Approaches to Dissect Carbon Starvation Responses in Aspergilli

Jolanda M. van Munster, Anne-Marie Burggraaf, Istvan Pocsi, Melinda Szilágyi, Tamas Emri and Arthur F.J. Ram
from: Aspergillus and Penicillium in the Post-genomic Era (Edited by: Ronald P. de Vries, Isabelle Benoit Gelber and Mikael Rørdam Andersen). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2016) Pages: 89-112.


Most filamentous fungi have a saprophytic lifestyle and proliferate on organic materials from plants. They contain a large arsenal of enzymes that are expressed and secreted in response to available carbon sources. Regulatory networks in which carbon-specific transcription factors and wide-domain transcription factors play essential roles tightly control the expression of these enzymes. While a suitable carbon source is present, the entire metabolism of the fungus is directed to grow as fast as possible via hyphal tip extension. At a certain point however, the available exogenous carbon source will be limited, resulting in a carbon starvation response. Filamentous fungi react to carbon starvation with some very specific responses including the induction of glycosyl hydrolases involved in fungal cell wall degradation (autolysis) and the onset of asexual spore formation. Recent advances in genome-wide transcriptomic and proteomic approaches have revealed new insights into molecular mechanisms involved in these fungal-specific carbon starvation responses. Together with the genetic accessibility of filamentous fungi, the omics technologies have made a large contribution in broadening our understanding of the carbon starvation response in recent years. In this review, we have focussed on summarizing and integrating the most important cellular responses of filamentous fungi towards carbon starvation. As most studies to date have been carried out with Aspergillus nidulans and Aspergillus niger, the focus will be further on these two species and to compare their responses to carbon starvation read more ...
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