The tag-based method of serial analysis of gene expression (SAGE) has been used to measure mRNA abundance and differential expression in a variety of organisms including several parasites and fungal pathogens. SAGE is based on the collection of short sequence tags as a measure of transcript abundance and the method provides an alternative, and in some instances, complementary approach to array-based methods of measuring differential gene expression. These methods are being used to improve our molecular understanding of the pathogenesis of eukaryotic microbes and SAGE in particular presents valuable opportunities for gene discovery and genome annotation. For eukaryotic pathogens, the SAGE method has been employed for the parasites Plasmodium falciparum, Toxoplasma gondii and Giardia lamblia, as well as fungal pathogens of plants (Magnaporthe grisea, Blumeria graminis, Ustilago maydis) and humans (Cryptococcus neoformans, Coccidiodes posadasii, Trichophyton rubrum). The accumulating information promises to speed the identification of key pathogen functions for virulence and proliferation in the host with the hope that some of these will represent important targets for drug and vaccine development.
Keywords: SAGE, transcriptome, parasites, fungal pathogens, malaria, toxoplasmosis, giardiasis, cryptococcosis
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