Whole genome sequencing of several filamentous ascomycetes is complete or in progress; these species, such as Aspergillus nidulans, are relatives of Saccharomyces cerevisiae. However, their genomes are much larger and their gene structure more complex, with genes often containing multiple introns. Automated annotation programs can quickly identify open reading frames for hypothetical genes, many of which will be conserved across large evolutionary distances, but further information is required to confirm functional assignments. We describe a comparative and functional genomics approach using sequence alignments and gene expression data to predict the function of Aspergillus nidulans genes. By highlighting examples of discrepancies between the automated genome annotation and cDNA or EST sequencing, we demonstrate that the greater complexity of gene structure in filamentous fungi demands independent data on gene expression and the gene sequence be used to make confident functional assignments.