Recently, a hyphae-dispersed type of filamentous fungus Aspergillus oryzae was constructed via genetic engineering, and industrial applications are expected due to the ease of handling and to the level of protein production properties. In this study, we constructed cellulase-expressing strains using wild-type and hyphae-dispersed strains to investigate the correlation between protein productivity and metabolism. Compared with the original strain, the hyphae-dispersed cellulase-expressing strain showed elevated cellulase activity, rapid glucose consumption, increased mycelial dry weight, an increased expression of cellulase genes, and activated respiration activity. Comparative metabolomic analysis showed fewer metabolites in the glycolysis and TCA cycles in the dispersed strains than in the original strains. These results indicate that the flux of carbohydrate metabolism in the hyphae-dispersed strains is smoother than that in the original strains. Such efficient metabolic flux would contribute to efficient energy conversion and to sufficient energy supply to anabolisms, such as mycelial growth and protein production. Our findings suggest that the hyphae-dispersed strains could be a useful host not only for protein production but also for the biological production of various chemicals such as organic acids.
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