Cheating and cooperation in Aspergillus niger
Noort, Pim van de
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Aspergillus niger has established itself in industry as a cell factory and in research as an model organism. Yet, much remains to be known about the mechanisms it uses to select for cooperation or against cheating. This study aimed to develop a sucrose-system, using sucrose mutants as a proof of concept to test a set of pilot experiments that were in turn developed to make a standardized way of assessing mutant to wild type interactions. Due to time limitations, the pilot experiments were ultimately tested using an available uncharacterized glucoamylase mutant. In literature it is described that high relatedness among individuals lowers the chances of a cheater to incorporate into the germline. Therefore, hypothesis was that since the strains are very related, they would cooperate. The results suggest that the mutant might act as a cheater in liquid cultures.