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Efficient four fragment cloning for the construction of vectors for targeted gene replacement in filamentous fungi

Rasmus JN Frandsen1*, Jens A Andersson1, Matilde B Kristensen2 and Henriette Giese3

Author Affiliations

1 Section of Genetics and Microbiology, Department of Ecology, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Thorvaldsensvej 40, DK-1871 Frederiksberg C, Denmark

2 Department of Systems Biology, Technical University of Denmark, Søltofts Plads, Building 224, room 220, DK-2800 Lyngby, Denmark

3 Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, University of Aarhus, Blichers Allé 20, DK-8830 Tjele, Denmark

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BMC Molecular Biology 2008, 9:70  doi:10.1186/1471-2199-9-70

Published: 1 August 2008



The rapid increase in whole genome fungal sequence information allows large scale functional analyses of target genes. Efficient transformation methods to obtain site-directed gene replacement, targeted over-expression by promoter replacement, in-frame epitope tagging or fusion of coding sequences with fluorescent markers such as GFP are essential for this process. Construction of vectors for these experiments depends on the directional cloning of two homologous recombination sequences on each side of a selection marker gene.


Here, we present a USER Friendly cloning based technique that allows single step cloning of the two required homologous recombination sequences into different sites of a recipient vector. The advantages are: A simple experimental design, free choice of target sequence, few procedures and user convenience. The vectors are intented for Agrobacterium tumefaciens and protoplast based transformation technologies. The system has been tested by the construction of vectors for targeted replacement of 17 genes and overexpression of 12 genes in Fusarium graminearum. The results show that four fragment vectors can be constructed in a single cloning step with an average efficiency of 84% for gene replacement and 80% for targeted overexpression.


The new vectors designed for USER Friendly cloning provided a fast reliable method to construct vectors for targeted gene manipulations in fungi.