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Eukaryot Cell. 2010 Mar;9(3):415-23. doi: 10.1128/EC.00312-09. Epub 2009 Dec 28.

Global gene expression analysis during sporulation of the aquatic fungus Blastocladiella emersonii.

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Departamento de Bioquímica, Instituto de Química, Universidade de São Paulo, 05508-000 São Paulo, SP, Brazil.


The Blastocladiella emersonii life cycle presents a number of drastic biochemical and morphological changes, mainly during two cell differentiation stages: germination and sporulation. To investigate the transcriptional changes taking place during the sporulation phase, which culminates with the production of the zoospores, motile cells responsible for the dispersal of the fungus, microarray experiments were performed. Among the 3,773 distinct genes investigated, a total of 1,207 were classified as differentially expressed, relative to time zero of sporulation, at at least one of the time points analyzed. These results indicate that accurate transcriptional control takes place during sporulation, as well as indicating the necessity for distinct molecular functions throughout this differentiation process. The main functional categories overrepresented among upregulated genes were those involving the microtubule, the cytoskeleton, signal transduction involving Ca(2+), and chromosome organization. On the other hand, protein biosynthesis, central carbon metabolism, and protein degradation were the most represented functional categories among downregulated genes. Gene expression changes were also analyzed in cells sporulating in the presence of subinhibitory concentrations of glucose or tryptophan. Data obtained revealed overexpression of microtubule and cytoskeleton transcripts in the presence of glucose, probably causing the shape and motility problems observed in the zoospores produced under this condition. In contrast, the presence of tryptophan during sporulation led to upregulation of genes involved in oxidative stress, proteolysis, and protein folding. These results indicate that distinct physiological pathways are involved in the inhibition of sporulation due to these two classes of nutrient sources.

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