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Transcript Profiles of Blumeria graminis Development During Infection Reveal a Cluster of Genes That Are Potential Virulence Determinants

February 2005 , Volume 18 , Number  2
Pages  125 - 133

Maike Both , 1 Sabine E. Eckert , 1 Michael Csukai , 2 Elisabeth Müller , 2 George Dimopoulos , 3 and Pietro D. Spanu 1

1Department of Biological Sciences, Sir Alexander Fleming Building, Imperial College Rd, Imperial College London, London, SW7 2AZ, U.K.; 2Syngenta Ltd, Jealott's Hill International Research Centre, Bracknell, Berkshire, RG42 6ET, U.K.; 3Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, Malaria Research Institute, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, 615 N. Wolfe Street, Baltimore, MD 21205-2179, U.S.A.

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Accepted 4 October 2004.

High-density cDNA microarrays (2,027 unigenes) were used to analyze transcript profiles of the plant-pathogenic fungus Blumeria graminis f. sp. hordei throughout its asexual life cycle and development of infection. RNA was obtained from four stages preceding penetration and four stages after penetration of the host cells. The microarray data was validated by comparing the expression of a plasma membrane H+-ATPase and fructose-1,6-bis phosphatase with the data obtained from a quantitative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay. The results showed that there was a global switch in expression between the pre- and postpenetrative stages. This was largely due to accumulation of RNA encoding protein biosynthesis genes in the late stages. Other functional clusters, such as virulence-related genes and sterol metabolism genes, are up-regulated in pre- and postpenetration stages, respectively. A group of RNAs whose abundance correlated with the expression of cap20, a gene known to be required for virulence in Colletotrichum gloeosporioides, identified genes that are strong candidates for pathogenicity factors in B. graminis.

© 2005 The American Phytopathological Society