Gene expression shifts during perithecium development in Gibberella zeae (anamorph Fusarium graminearum), with particular emphasis on ion transport proteins

Heather E. Hallen, Marianne Huebner, Shin Han Shiu, Ulrich Güldener, Frances Trail

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

62 Scopus citations


Gibberella zeae, the causal agent of Fusarium head blight, is a devastating pathogen of small grains worldwide. The sexual cycle is a crucial component of head blight epidemiology, as forcibly discharged ascospores serve as the primary inoculum. The recent development of an Affymetrix GeneChip containing probesets representative of all predicted genes of G. zeae has opened the door to studies of differential gene expression during sexual development. Using GeneChips, a developmental time course was performed in culture, from vegetative hyphae to mature perithecia with multiseptate ascospores. Time-points represent the development of the major cell types comprising the mature perithecium. The majority of the 17,830 G. zeae probesets, 78%, were expressed during at least one of the developmental stages; 12% of these appear to be specific to sexual development. Analysis of the 162 predicted ion transporter genes is reported in detail, due to their association with perithecium function. Expression patterns of the MirA-type siderophores, chloride channels, P-type ATPases and potassium transporters show some specialization in regard to developmental stage. This is the first whole-genome analysis of differential transcript accumulation during sexual development in a filamentous fungus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1146-1156
Number of pages11
JournalFungal Genetics and Biology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2007



  • Ascospores
  • Ion transporters
  • Perithecia
  • Sexual development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Genetics

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