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The Transcriptome of Fusarium graminearum During the Infection of Wheat

September 2011 , Volume 24 , Number  9
Pages  995 - 1,000

Erik Lysøe,1 Kye-Yong Seong,2 and H. Corby Kistler2,3

1Bioforsk–Norwegian Institute of Agricultural and Environmental Research, Ås, Norway; 2Department of Plant Pathology, University of Minnesota, St. Paul 55108, U.S.A.; 3United States Department of Agriculture–Agricultural Research Service, Cereal Disease Laboratory, St. Paul, MN 55108, U.S.A.

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Accepted 5 May 2011.

Fusarium graminearum causes head blight disease in wheat and barley. To help understand the infection process on wheat, we studied global gene expression of F. graminearum in a time series from 24 to 196 h after inoculation, compared with a noninoculated control. The infection was rapid and, after 48 h, over 4,000 fungal genes were expressed. The number of genes expressed increased over time up to 96 h (>8,000 genes), and then declined at the 144- and 192-h post-inoculation time points. After subtraction of genes found expressed on complete medium, during carbon or nitrogen starvation, and on barley, only 355 were found exclusively expressed in wheat, mostly genes with unknown function (72.6%). These genes were mainly found in single-nucleotide polymorphism-enriched islands on the chromosomes, suggesting a higher evolutionary selection pressure. The annotated genes were enriched in functional groups predicted to be involved in allantoin and allantoate transport, detoxification, nitrogen, sulfur and selenium metabolism, secondary metabolism, carbohydrate metabolism, and degradation of polysaccharides and ester compounds. Several putative secreted virulence factors were also found expressed in wheat.

© 2011 The American Phytopathological Society