VeA of Aspergillus niger increases spore dispersing capacity by impacting conidiophore architecture

Fengfeng Wang, Jan Dijksterhuis, Timon Wyatt, Han A B Wösten, Robert-Jan Bleichrodt

    Research output: Contribution to journal/periodicalArticleScientificpeer-review


    Aspergillus species are highly abundant fungi worldwide. Their conidia are among the most dominant fungal spores in the air. Conidia are formed in chains on the vesicle of the asexual reproductive structure called the conidiophore. Here, it is shown that the velvet protein VeA of Aspergillus niger maximizes the diameter of the vesicle and the spore chain length. The length and width of the conidiophore stalk and vesicle were reduced nearly twofold in a ΔveA strain. The latter implies a fourfold reduced surface area to develop chains of spores. Over and above this, the conidial chain length was approximately fivefold reduced. The calculated 20-fold reduction in formation of conidia by ΔveA fits the 8- to 17-fold decrease in counted spore numbers. Notably, morphology of the ΔveA conidiophores of A. niger was very similar to that of wild-type Aspergillus sydowii. This suggests that VeA is key in conidiophore architecture diversity in the fungal kingdom. The finding that biomass formation of the A. niger ΔveA strain was reduced twofold shows that VeA not only impacts dispersion capacity but also colonization capacity of A. niger.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)187-99
    Number of pages13
    JournalAntonie Van Leeuwenhoek International Journal of General and Molecular Microbiology
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 2015


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