Temporal and Spatial Regulation of Gene Expression During Asexual Development of Neurospora crassa
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In this study we profiled spatial and temporal transcriptional changes during asexual sporulation in the filamentous fungus Neurospora crassa. Aerial tissue was separated from the mycelium to allow detection of genes specific to each tissue. We identified 2641 genes that were differentially expressed during development, which represents ∼25% of the predicted genes in the genome of this model fungus. On the basis of the distribution of functional annotations of 1102 of these genes, we identified gene expression patterns that define key physiological events during conidial development. Not surprisingly, genes encoding transcription factors, cell wall remodeling proteins, and proteins involved in signal transduction were differentially regulated during asexual development. Among the genes differentially expressed in aerial tissues the majority were unclassified and tended to be unique to ascomycete genomes. This finding is consistent with the view that these genes evolved for asexual development in the Pezizomycotina. Strains containing deletions of several differentially expressed genes encoding transcription factors exhibited asexual development-associated phenotypes. Gene expression patterns during asexual development suggested that cAMP signaling plays a critical role in the transition from aerial growth to proconidial chain formation. This observation prompted us to characterize a deletion of the gene encoding a high-affinity cAMP phosphodiesterase (NCU00478). NCU00478 was determined to be allelic to aconidiate-2, a previously identified genetic locus controlling conidiation.
author list (cited authors)
Greenwald, C. J., Kasuga, T., Glass, N. L., Shaw, B. D., Ebbole, D. J., & Wilkinson, H. H.