Calvo, Ana M.
M.S. (Master of Science)
Department of Biological Sciences
The fungus Aspergillus fumigatus is an opportunistic human pathogen capable of causing
a life-threatening systemic lung infection known as invasive aspergillosis among immune compromised
patients. This group includes individuals infected with HIV, people with hematological
malignancies, solid organ transplant patients, persons with genetic immunodeficiency and cancer
patient undergoing chemotherapy. Due to the medical relevance of this organism, it is imperative
to discover novel genetic elements to design antifungal drugs against A. fumigatus dissemination,
virulence and survival during human infection. Previously, the putative arginine methyltransferase
gene rmtA was characterized in the model organism Aspergillus nidulans and the opportunistic
plant pathogen Aspergillus flavus, where it was shown to regulate several cellular processes
including morphological development and secondary metabolism. In this study, we characterized
the rmtA gene in A. fumigatus. Our results showed that rmtA influences vegetative growth and
conidiation of this medically important fungus. Deletion and over-expression of rmtA caused
slight reduction in vegetative growth compared to the wild-type strain. Moreover, rmtA is dispensable
during protease production and cell wall stress with SDS. Similarly, assessment of pathogenicity
done in Galleria mellonella resulted in reduced virulence in over-expression strain compared
to wild type. However, we found that rmtA is not involved in environmental stresses like
temperature, pH and osmotic.
Dahal, Roshan, "The Role of rmtA in the Opportunistic Pathaogen Aspergillus fumigatus" (2019). Graduate Research Theses & Dissertations. 6958.
Northern Illinois University
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