The hemi-biotrophic fungus Venturia inaequalis infects members of the Maloideae, causing the economically important apple disease, scab. The plant-pathogen interaction of Malus and V. inaequalis follows the gene-for-gene model. cDNA libraries were constructed, and bioinformatic analysis of the resulting expressed sequence tags (ESTs) was used to characterize potential effector genes. Effectors are small proteins, secreted in planta, that are assumed to facilitate infection. Therefore, a cDNA library was constructed from a compatible interaction. To distinguish pathogen from plant sequences, the library was probed with genomic DNA from V. inaequalis to enrich for pathogen genes, and cDNA libraries were constructed from in vitro-grown material. A suppression subtractive hybridization library enriched for cellophane-induced genes was included, as growth on cellophane may mimic that in planta, with the differentiation of structures resembling those formed during plant colonization. Clustering of ESTs from the in planta and in vitro libraries indicated a fungal origin of the resulting non-redundant sequence. A total of 937 ESTs was classified as putatively fungal, which could be assembled into 633 non-redundant sequences. Sixteen new candidate effector genes were identified from V. inaequalis based on features common to characterized effector genes from filamentous fungi, i.e. they encode a small, novel, cysteine-rich protein, with a putative signal peptide. Three of the 16 candidates, in particular, conformed to most of the protein structural characteristics expected of fungal effectors and showed significant levels of transcriptional up-regulation during in planta growth. In addition to candidate effector genes, this collection of ESTs represents a valuable genomic resource for V. inaequalis.