A genome-wide longitudinal transcriptome analysis of the aging model Podospora anserina

PLoS One. 2013 Dec 20;8(12):e83109. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0083109. eCollection 2013.


Aging of biological systems is controlled by various processes which have a potential impact on gene expression. Here we report a genome-wide transcriptome analysis of the fungal aging model Podospora anserina. Total RNA of three individuals of defined age were pooled and analyzed by SuperSAGE (serial analysis of gene expression). A bioinformatics analysis identified different molecular pathways to be affected during aging. While the abundance of transcripts linked to ribosomes and to the proteasome quality control system were found to decrease during aging, those associated with autophagy increase, suggesting that autophagy may act as a compensatory quality control pathway. Transcript profiles associated with the energy metabolism including mitochondrial functions were identified to fluctuate during aging. Comparison of wild-type transcripts, which are continuously down-regulated during aging, with those down-regulated in the long-lived, copper-uptake mutant grisea, validated the relevance of age-related changes in cellular copper metabolism. Overall, we (i) present a unique age-related data set of a longitudinal study of the experimental aging model P. anserina which represents a reference resource for future investigations in a variety of organisms, (ii) suggest autophagy to be a key quality control pathway that becomes active once other pathways fail, and (iii) present testable predictions for subsequent experimental investigations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aging / genetics*
  • Aging / metabolism
  • Autophagy / genetics
  • Copper / metabolism
  • Energy Metabolism
  • Fungal Proteins / genetics*
  • Fungal Proteins / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Fungal*
  • Genome, Fungal*
  • Genome-Wide Association Study
  • Humans
  • Mitochondria / metabolism
  • Models, Biological
  • Molecular Sequence Annotation
  • Podospora / genetics*
  • Podospora / metabolism
  • Ribosomes / metabolism
  • Time Factors
  • Transcriptome*


  • Fungal Proteins
  • Copper

Grant support

This work was supported by a grant by the Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF; GerontoMitoSys 0315584A) to HDO. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.