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Mol Genet Genomics. 2009 Feb;281(2):193-206. doi: 10.1007/s00438-008-0407-5. Epub 2008 Dec 3.

Gene expression changes during asexual sporulation by the late blight agent Phytophthora infestans occur in discrete temporal stages.

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Department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology, University of California, Riverside, CA 92521, USA.


Transcriptional changes during asexual sporangia formation by the late blight pathogen Phytophthora infestans were identified using microarrays representing 15,646 genes and RNA from sporulation time-courses, purified spores, and sporulation-defective strains. Results were confirmed by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction analyses of sporulation on artificial media and infected tomato. During sporulation, about 12% of genes were up-regulated compared to vegetative hyphae and 5% were down-regulated. The most prevalent induced genes had functions in signal transduction, flagella assembly, cellular organization, metabolism, and molecular or vesicular transport. Distinct patterns of expression were discerned based on the kinetics of mRNA induction and their persistence in sporangia. For example, most flagella-associated transcripts were induced very early in sporulation and maintained in sporangia, while many participants in metabolism or small molecule transport were also induced early but had low levels in sporangia. Data from this study are a resource for understanding sporogenesis, which is critical to the pathogenic success of P. infestans and other oomycetes.

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