, Volume 47, Issue 5, pp 316-333
Date: 05 Apr 2005

Differential gene expression in filamentous cells of Ustilago maydis

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When fungi interact with plants as pathogens or as symbionts, there are often changes in fungal cell morphology and nuclear state. This study establishes the use of cDNA microarrays to detect gene expression changes in Ustilago maydis cells that differ in structure and nuclear content. Categorizing differentially expressed genes on the basis of function indicated that U. maydis cell types vary most in the expression of genes related to metabolism. We also observed that more genes are up-regulated in the filamentous dikaryon than in the filamentous diploid, relative to non-pathogenic budding cells. Our comparison of pathogenic development indicated that the dikaryon is more virulent than the diploid. Other identified expression patterns suggest a cell-specific difference in nutrient acquisition, cell metabolism and signal transduction. The relevance of gene expression change to cell type biology is discussed.

Communicated by U. Kück