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BioMed Research International
Volume 2017, Article ID 4378627, 11 pages
Research Article

Transcriptomic Analysis Reveals Genes Mediating Salt Tolerance through Calcineurin/CchA-Independent Signaling in Aspergillus nidulans

1Department of Pathogen and Immunity, School of Medicine, Huzhou University, Zhejiang, China
2Traditional Chinese Medicine Hospital of Huangyan, Zhejiang, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Shengwen Shao; nc.ude.uhjz@whsoahs

Received 17 March 2017; Revised 1 June 2017; Accepted 10 July 2017; Published 20 August 2017

Academic Editor: Stanley Brul

Copyright © 2017 Sha Wang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Adaptation to changes in the environment is crucial for the viability of all organisms. Although the importance of calcineurin in the stress response has been highlighted in filamentous fungi, little is known about the involvement of ion-responsive genes and pathways in conferring salt tolerance without calcium signaling. In this study, high-throughput RNA-seq was used to investigate salt stress-induced genes in the parent, ΔcnaB, and ΔcnaBΔcchA strains of Aspergillus nidulans, which differ greatly in salt adaption. In total, 2,884 differentially expressed genes including 1,382 up- and 1,502 downregulated genes were identified. Secondary transporters, which were upregulated to a greater extent in ΔcnaBΔcchA than in the parent or ΔcnaB strains, are likely to play important roles in response to salt stress. Furthermore, 36 genes were exclusively upregulated in the ΔcnaBΔcchA under salt stress. Functional analysis of differentially expressed genes revealed that genes involved in transport, heat shock protein binding, and cell division processes were exclusively activated in ΔcnaBΔcchA. Overall, our findings reveal that secondary transporters and stress-responsive genes may play crucial roles in salt tolerance to bypass the requirement for the CchA-calcineurin pathway, contributing to a deeper understanding of the mechanisms that influence fungal salt stress adaption in Aspergillus.