Submitted to: In Vitro Biology Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/4/2006
Publication Date: 7/13/2006
Citation: Kistler, H.C. 2006. Profiles in scourge: gene expression analysis of a crop killer. In: Society for In vitro Biology, Minneapolis, Minnesota. June 3-7. p. 6.
Technical Abstract: Filamentous fungi are the most common and devastating causal agents of plant disease. Among the diseases of crop plants most important worldwide is Fusarium blight of wheat and barley caused by the fungus Fusarium graminearum. With the availability of genome sequences for several filamentous fungi including F. graminearum, large-scale functional genomics programs and genome-wide expression analysis is now possible. From the Fusarium sequence we have developed the first Affymetrix GeneChip microarray based on the entire genome of a filamentous fungus. To understand the early infection cycle of the pathogen, we monitored the RNA expression profiles in newly formed spores, in maturing spores and during the early stages of spore germination. We also examined fungal gene expression during infection time-courses in wheat and barley. The ability to detect fungal genes in planta is surprisingly sensitive even without efforts to enrich for fungal transcripts. These studies will help to accelerate understanding of pathogen – host interactions by elucidating expression of pathogenicity determinants in the fungus and disease response pathways in the plant.