BER launches Environmental System Science Program. Visit our new website under construction!

U.S. Department of Energy Office of Biological and Environmental Research

BER Research Highlights

Novel Gene Targets Discovered for Improving Heterologous Enzyme Production in Aspergillus Niger
Published: January 06, 2018
Posted: August 02, 2021


Enhance the production of secreted heterologous proteins in fungal host A. niger.


  • Developed a forward genetics screen coupled with whole-genome resequencing to identify specific lesions responsible for a protein hyper-production phenotype in A. niger.
  • Use bioinformatics to identify loci associated with heterologous enzyme hyper-production.


  • Strategy successfully identified novel targets, including a low-affinity glucose transporter, MstC, whose deletion significantly improved secretion of recombinant proteins driven by a glucoamylase promoter. Deletion of mstC loci improved by 4-fold heterologous enzyme production driven by a glucoamylase promoter.
  • Mutations found in the Ypt/Rab GTPase-activating protein of both tested strains might further increase production of heterologous beta-glucosidase if introduced into other heterologous strains.
Reilly, M.C. et al. “Forward genetics screen coupled with whole-genome resequencing identifies novel gene targets for improving heterologous enzyme production in Aspergillus niger.” Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology 102(4), 1797–1807 (2018). [DOI:10.1007/s00253-017-8717-3]

Topic Areas:

  • Research Area: Genomic Analysis and Systems Biology
  • Research Area: Microbes and Communities

Division: SC-33.2 Biological Systems Science Division, BER


BER supports basic research and scientific user facilities to advance DOE missions in energy and environment. More about BER

Recent Highlights

Jan 11, 2022
No Honor Among Copper Thieves
Findings provide a novel means to manipulate methanotrophs for a variety of environmental and in [more...]

Dec 06, 2021
New Genome Editing Tools Can Edit Within Microbial Communities
Two new technologies allow scientists to edit specific species and genes within complex laborato [more...]

Oct 27, 2021
Fungal Recyclers: Fungi Reuse Fire-Altered Organic Matter
Degrading pyrogenic (fire-affected) organic matter is an important ecosystem function of fungi i [more...]

Oct 19, 2021
Microbes Offer a Glimpse into the Future of Climate Change
Scientists identify key features in microbes that predict how warming affects carbon dioxide emi [more...]

Aug 25, 2021
Assessing the Production Cost and Carbon Footprint of a Promising Aviation Biofuel
Biomass-derived DMCO has the potential to serve as a low-carbon, high-performance jet fuel blend [more...]

List all highlights (possible long download time)