Dormancy breaking is a common physiological phenomenon that is shared by eukaryotes. Germination of spores in fungi is one of the most representative cases of dormancy breaking. Understanding the mechanisms of spore germination is therefore fundamental to basic studies on the control of cell proliferation and differentiation, as well as agricultural applications and medical investigation of fungal pathogenesis. In fission yeast, spores are generated as a consequence of sexual differentiation under nutrient starvation, remaining dormant until further nourishment, but little is known about how dormant spores germinate in response to environmental change. In a breakthrough, methods for single-cell-based gene expression profiling have recently been introduced. Several mRNA expression profiles were assembled from single spore cells during dormancy or germination. Single-cell RNA-seq profiles were aligned sequentially according to their similarities. The alignment of transcriptomes visualised how gene expression varies over time upon dormancy breaking. In this review, we revisit knowledge from previous studies on germination, select candidate genes that may be involved in germination, and query their expression from the temporal transcriptomic dataset so that studies on S. pombe germination can be extended further.
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