Protein subcellular targeting inTrichoderma aggressivum f. aggressivum
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Trichoderma aggressivum f. aggressivum is a filamentous soil fungus. Green mold disease of commercial mushrooms caused by this species in North America has resulted in millions of dollars in lost revenue within the mushroom growing industry. Research on the molecular level of T aggressivum have jus t begun with the goal of understanding the functions of each gene and protein, and their expression control. Protein targeting has not been well studied in this species yet. Therefore, the intent of this study was to test the protein localization and production levels in T aggressivum with green fluorescent protein (GFP) with an intron and tagged with either nuclear localization signal (NLS) or an endoplasmic reticulum retention signal (KDEL). Two GFP constructs (with and without the intron) were used as controls in this study. All four constructs were successfully transferred into T aggressivum and all modified strains showed similar growth characteristics as the wild type non-transformed isolate. GFP expression was detected from all modified T aggressivum with confocal microscopy and the expression was similar in all four strains. The intron tested in this study had no or very minor effects as GFP expression was similar with or without it. The GFP signal increased over a 5 day period for all transformants, while the GFP to total protein ratio decreased over the same period for all transformants. The GFP-KDEL transformant showed similar protein expression level and localization as did the control transformant lacking the KDEL retention signal. The GFP-NLS transformant similarly failed to localize GFP into nucleus as fluorescence with this strain was virtually identical to the GFP transformant lacking the NLS. Thus, future research is required to find effective localization signals for T aggressivum.