Current Practices for Reference Gene Selection in RT-qPCR of Aspergillus: Outlook and Recommendations for the Future Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • Aspergillus is a genus of filamentous fungi with vast geographic and ecological distributions. Species within this genus are clinically, agriculturally and biotechnologically relevant, leading to increasing interest in elucidating gene expression dynamics of key metabolic and physiological processes. Reverse-transcription quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-qPCR) is a sensitive and specific method of quantifying gene expression. A crucial step for comparing RT-qPCR results between strains and experimental conditions is normalisation to experimentally validated reference gene(s). In this review, we provide a critical analysis of current reference gene selection and validation practices for RT-qPCR gene expression analyses of Aspergillus. Of 90 primary research articles obtained through our PubMed query, 17 experimentally validated the reference gene(s) used. Twenty reference genes were used across the 90 studies, with beta-tubulin being the most used reference gene, followed by actin, 18S rRNA and glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase. Sixteen of the 90 studies used multiple reference genes for normalisation. Failing to experimentally validate the stability of reference genes can lead to conflicting results, as was the case for four studies. Overall, our review highlights the need to experimentally validate reference genes in RT-qPCR studies of Aspergillus.

publication date

  • June 24, 2021

published in