Transcriptional landscape of Aspergillus niger at breaking of conidial dormancy revealed by RNA-sequencing

Novodvorska, Michaela, Hayer, Kimran, Pullan, Steven T., Wilson, Raymond, Blythe, Martin J., Stam, Hein, Stratford, Malcolm and Archer, David B. (2013) Transcriptional landscape of Aspergillus niger at breaking of conidial dormancy revealed by RNA-sequencing. BMC Genomics, 14 (246). ISSN 1471-2164

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Genome-wide analysis was performed to assess the transcriptional landscape of germinating A. niger conidia using both next generation RNA-sequencing and GeneChips. The metabolism of storage compounds during conidial germination was also examined and compared to the transcript levels from associated genes.


The transcriptome of dormant conidia was shown to be highly differentiated from that of germinating conidia and major changes in response to environmental shift occurred within the first hour of germination. The breaking of dormancy was associated with increased transcript levels of genes involved in the biosynthesis of proteins, RNA turnover and respiratory metabolism. Increased transcript levels of genes involved in metabolism of nitrate at the onset of germination implies its use as a source of nitrogen. The transcriptome of dormant conidia contained a significant component of antisense transcripts that changed during germination.


Dormant conidia contained transcripts of genes involved in fermentation, gluconeogenesis and the glyoxylate cycle. The presence of such transcripts in dormant conidia may indicate the generation of energy from non-carbohydrate substrates during starvation-induced conidiation or for maintenance purposes during dormancy. The immediate onset of metabolism of internal storage compounds after the onset of germination, and the presence of transcripts of relevant genes, suggest that conidia are primed for the onset of germination. For some genes, antisense transcription is regulated in the transition from resting conidia to fully active germinants.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Aspergillus niger; Conidia; Dormancy; Transcriptome; RNA-seq; Antisense transcription
Schools/Departments: University of Nottingham, UK > Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > School of Life Sciences > School of Biology
Identification Number:
Depositing User: Liu, Mr Zhenxing
Date Deposited: 28 Mar 2014 14:53
Last Modified: 04 May 2020 16:36

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