Transcript levels of theAspergillus fumigatusCdc42 module, polarisome, and septin genes show little change from dormancy to polarity establishment

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Abstract

Aspergillus fumigatus is the most common airborne pathogen causing fatal mycoses in immunocompromised patients. During the first 8 hours of development A. fumigatus conidia break dormancy, expand isotopically, establish an axis of polarity, and begin to extend germ tubes in a polar manner. The transition from isotropic to polar growth is critical for tissue invasion and pathogenesis. In the current work, we used two-color microarrays to examine the A. fumigatus transcriptome during early development, focusing on the isotropic to polar switch. The most highly regulated transcripts in the isotropic to polar switch did not include known polarity genes. Transcripts encoding the Cdc42 module, polarisome components, and septins, known to be critical players in polarity, showed relatively steady levels during the isotropic to polar switch. Indeed, these transcripts were present in dormant conidia, and their levels changed little from dormancy through germ tube emergence. Not only did the isotropic to polar switch show little change in the expression of key polarity genes of the Cdc42 module, polarisome, and septins, it also showed the lowest overall levels of both up- and downregulation in early development.

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