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Journal of Applied Genetics 51(2), 2010, pp. 225-232

Agrobacterium rhizogenes-mediated transformation of a high oil-producing filamentous fungus Umbelopsis isabellina

D-Sh. Wei, Y-H. Zhang, L-J. Xing, M-Ch. Li

Abstract: The Agrobacterium rhizogenes-mediated transformation procedure was developed by using the hygromycin B phosphotransferase gene (hph) as a selective marker for the oil-producing fungus Umbelopsis isabellina. Different conditions were combined to increase the transformation efficiency. The highest efficiency was obtained by using A. rhizogenes strain R105 and a vector with zygomycete promoter. Southern blot analysis demonstrated that 71% of transformants contained random integrations of T-DNA sequences under optimal conditions. We randomly selected 115 positive transformants resistant to hygromycin to analyze the amount of total fatty acid and gamma-linolenic acid (GLA). Six transformants produced a higher amount of total fatty acids than the wild strain, and one transformant also produced a higher level of GLA than the wild strain in gas chromatography analysis. This is the first report about using A. rhizogenes strain R105 and germinated conidia to transform successfully the recalcitrant zygomycetes and to obtain transformants with a stable phenotype

Key words: Agrobacterium rhizogenes-mediated transformation, conidia, Umbelopsis isabellina, zygomycetes

Correspondence: M-Ch. Li, Key Laboratory of Molecular Microbiology and Technology, Ministry of Education, Department of Microbiology, Nankai University, Tianjin, 300071, PR China; e-mail:

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