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Stud Mycol. 2013 Mar 15;74(1):59-70. doi: 10.3114/sim0009. Epub 2012 Sep 20.

Germination of conidia of Aspergillus niger is accompanied by major changes in RNA profiles.

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Applied and Industrial Mycology, CBS-KNAW Fungal Biodiversity Centre, Uppsalalaan 8, 3584 CT Utrecht, The Netherlands.


The transcriptome of conidia of Aspergillus niger was analysed during the first 8 h of germination. Dormant conidia started to grow isotropically two h after inoculation in liquid medium. Isotropic growth changed to polarised growth after 6 h, which coincided with one round of mitosis. Dormant conidia contained transcripts from 4 626 genes. The number of genes with transcripts decreased to 3 557 after 2 h of germination, after which an increase was observed with 4 780 expressed genes 8 h after inoculation. The RNA composition of dormant conidia was substantially different than all the subsequent stages of germination. The correlation coefficient between the RNA profiles of 0 h and 8 h was 0.46. They were between 0.76-0.93 when profiles of 2, 4 and 6 h were compared with that of 8 h. Dormant conidia were characterised by high levels of transcripts of genes involved in the formation of protecting components such as trehalose, mannitol, protective proteins (e.g. heat shock proteins and catalase). Transcripts belonging to the Functional Gene Categories (FunCat) protein synthesis, cell cycle and DNA processing and respiration were over-represented in the up-regulated genes at 2 h, whereas metabolism and cell cycle and DNA processing were over-represented in the up-regulated genes at 4 h. At 6 h and 8 h no functional gene classes were over- or under-represented in the differentially expressed genes. Taken together, it is concluded that the transcriptome of conidia changes dramatically during the first two h and that initiation of protein synthesis and respiration are important during early stages of germination.


Aspergillus niger; conidia; germination; transcriptome

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