Appressorium is an infection structure of the phytopathogenic fungus Magnaporthe grisea. Analysis of gene expression profiles of appressorium development provides insight into the molecular basis of pathogenicity and control of this fungal plant disease. A cDNA array representing 2927 unique genes based on a large EST (expressed sequence tag) database of M. grisea strain Y34 was constructed and used to profile the gene expression patterns at mycelium and appressorium maturation stages. Compared with mycelia, 55 up-regulated and 22 down-regulated genes were identified in mature appressoria. Among 77 genes, 16 genes showed no similarity to the genome sequences of M. grisea. A novel homologue of peptidyl-prolyl cis-trans isomerase was found to be expressed at low-level in mature appressoria of M. grisea. The results indicated that the genes such as pyruvate carboxylase, phospholipid metabolism-related protein and glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase involved in gluconeogenesis, lipid metabolism and glycolysis, showed differential expression in mature appressoria. Furthermore, genes such as PTH11, beta subunit of G protein and SGT1 involved in cell signalling, were expressed differentially in mature appressoria. Northern blot analysis was used to confirm the cDNA array results.