Open Access Research article

The use of global transcriptional analysis to reveal the biological and cellular events involved in distinct development phases of Trichophyton rubrum conidial germination

Tao Liu1, Qian Zhang13, Lingling Wang1, Lu Yu1, Wenchuan Leng1, Jian Yang1, Lihong Chen1, Junping Peng1, Li Ma1, Jie Dong1, Xingye Xu1, Ying Xue1, Yafang Zhu1, Wenliang Zhang1, Li Yang1, Weijun Li1, Lilian Sun1, Zhe Wan4, Guohui Ding6, Fudong Yu6, Kang Tu6, Ziliang Qian6, Ruoyu Li4, Yan Shen5, Yixue Li6 and Qi Jin12*

  • * Corresponding author: Qi Jin

  • † Equal contributors

Author Affiliations

1 State Key Lab for Molecular Virology and Genetic Engineering, Institute for Viral Disease Control and Prevention, Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Beijing 100176, P. R. China

2 Institute of Pathogen Biology, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Beijing 100730, P. R. China

3 College of Life Science, Jilin University, Changchun 130012, Jilin Province, P. R. China

4 Research Center for Medical Mycology, Peking University, Beijing 100034, P. R. China

5 Chinese National Human Genome Center_Beijing, Beijing 100176, P.R.China

6 Bioinformatics Center Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai, 200031, P. R. China

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BMC Genomics 2007, 8:100  doi:10.1186/1471-2164-8-100

Published: 11 April 2007



Conidia are considered to be the primary cause of infections by Trichophyton rubrum.


We have developed a cDNA microarray containing 10250 ESTs to monitor the transcriptional strategy of conidial germination. A total of 1561 genes that had their expression levels specially altered in the process were obtained and hierarchically clustered with respect to their expression profiles. By functional analysis, we provided a global view of an important biological system related to conidial germination, including characterization of the pattern of gene expression at sequential developmental phases, and changes of gene expression profiles corresponding to morphological transitions. We matched the EST sequences to GO terms in the Saccharomyces Genome Database (SGD). A number of homologues of Saccharomyces cerevisiae genes related to signalling pathways and some important cellular processes were found to be involved in T. rubrum germination. These genes and signalling pathways may play roles in distinct steps, such as activating conidial germination, maintenance of isotropic growth, establishment of cell polarity and morphological transitions.


Our results may provide insights into molecular mechanisms of conidial germination at the cell level, and may enhance our understanding of regulation of gene expression related to the morphological construction of T. rubrum.