April 21, 2020  |  

The complexity of alternative splicing and landscape of tissue-specific expression in lotus (Nelumbo nucifera) unveiled by Illumina- and single-molecule real-time-based RNA-sequencing.

Alternative splicing (AS) plays a critical role in regulating different physiological and developmental processes in eukaryotes, by dramatically increasing the diversity of the transcriptome and the proteome. However, the saturation and complexity of AS remain unclear in lotus due to its limitation of rare obtainment of full-length multiple-splice isoforms. In this study, we apply a hybrid assembly strategy by combining single-molecule real-time sequencing and Illumina RNA-seq to get a comprehensive insight into the lotus transcriptomic landscape. We identified 211,802 high-quality full-length non-chimeric reads, with 192,690 non-redundant isoforms, and updated the lotus reference gene model. Moreover, our analysis identified a total of 104,288 AS events from 16,543 genes, with alternative 3′ splice-site being the predominant model, following by intron retention. By exploring tissue datasets, 370 tissue-specific AS events were identified among 12 tissues. Both the tissue-specific genes and isoforms might play important roles in tissue or organ development, and are suitable for ‘ABCE’ model partly in floral tissues. A large number of AS events and isoform variants identified in our study enhance the understanding of transcriptional diversity in lotus, and provide valuable resource for further functional genomic studies. © The Author(s) 2019. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Kazusa DNA Research Institute.

September 22, 2019  |  

Alternative polyadenylation: methods, findings, and impacts.

Alternative polyadenylation (APA), a phenomenon that RNA molecules with different 3′ ends originate from distinct polyadenylation sites of a single gene, is emerging as a mechanism widely used to regulate gene expression. In the present review, we first summarized various methods prevalently adopted in APA study, mainly focused on the next-generation sequencing (NGS)-based techniques specially designed for APA identification, the related bioinformatics methods, and the strategies for APA study in single cells. Then we summarized the main findings and advances so far based on these methods, including the preferences of alternative polyA (pA) site, the biological processes involved, and the corresponding consequences. We especially categorized the APA changes discovered so far and discussed their potential functions under given conditions, along with the possible underlying molecular mechanisms. With more in-depth studies on extensive samples, more signatures and functions of APA will be revealed, and its diverse roles will gradually heave in sight. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Production and hosting by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

September 22, 2019  |  

Isoform sequencing and state-of-art applications for unravelling complexity of plant transcriptomes

Single-molecule real-time (SMRT) sequencing developed by PacBio, also called third-generation sequencing (TGS), offers longer reads than the second-generation sequencing (SGS). Given its ability to obtain full-length transcripts without assembly, isoform sequencing (Iso-Seq) of transcriptomes by PacBio is advantageous for genome annotation, identification of novel genes and isoforms, as well as the discovery of long non-coding RNA (lncRNA). In addition, Iso-Seq gives access to the direct detection of alternative splicing, alternative polyadenylation (APA), gene fusion, and DNA modifications. Such applications of Iso-Seq facilitate the understanding of gene structure, post-transcriptional regulatory networks, and subsequently proteomic diversity. In this review, we summarize its applications in plant transcriptome study, specifically pointing out challenges associated with each step in the experimental design and highlight the development of bioinformatic pipelines. We aim to provide the community with an integrative overview and a comprehensive guidance to Iso-Seq, and thus to promote its applications in plant research.

September 22, 2019  |  

Widespread polycistronic transcripts in fungi revealed by single-molecule mRNA sequencing.

Genes in prokaryotic genomes are often arranged into clusters and co-transcribed into polycistronic RNAs. Isolated examples of polycistronic RNAs were also reported in some higher eukaryotes but their presence was generally considered rare. Here we developed a long-read sequencing strategy to identify polycistronic transcripts in several mushroom forming fungal species including Plicaturopsis crispa, Phanerochaete chrysosporium, Trametes versicolor, and Gloeophyllum trabeum. We found genome-wide prevalence of polycistronic transcription in these Agaricomycetes, involving up to 8% of the transcribed genes. Unlike polycistronic mRNAs in prokaryotes, these co-transcribed genes are also independently transcribed. We show that polycistronic transcription may interfere with expression of the downstream tandem gene. Further comparative genomic analysis indicates that polycistronic transcription is conserved among a wide range of mushroom forming fungi. In summary, our study revealed, for the first time, the genome prevalence of polycistronic transcription in a phylogenetic range of higher fungi. Furthermore, we systematically show that our long-read sequencing approach and combined bioinformatics pipeline is a generic powerful tool for precise characterization of complex transcriptomes that enables identification of mRNA isoforms not recovered via short-read assembly.

September 22, 2019  |  

SQANTI: extensive characterization of long-read transcript sequences for quality control in full-length transcriptome identification and quantification.

High-throughput sequencing of full-length transcripts using long reads has paved the way for the discovery of thousands of novel transcripts, even in well-annotated mammalian species. The advances in sequencing technology have created a need for studies and tools that can characterize these novel variants. Here, we present SQANTI, an automated pipeline for the classification of long-read transcripts that can assess the quality of data and the preprocessing pipeline using 47 unique descriptors. We apply SQANTI to a neuronal mouse transcriptome using Pacific Biosciences (PacBio) long reads and illustrate how the tool is effective in characterizing and describing the composition of the full-length transcriptome. We perform extensive evaluation of ToFU PacBio transcripts by PCR to reveal that an important number of the novel transcripts are technical artifacts of the sequencing approach and that SQANTI quality descriptors can be used to engineer a filtering strategy to remove them. Most novel transcripts in this curated transcriptome are novel combinations of existing splice sites, resulting more frequently in novel ORFs than novel UTRs, and are enriched in both general metabolic and neural-specific functions. We show that these new transcripts have a major impact in the correct quantification of transcript levels by state-of-the-art short-read-based quantification algorithms. By comparing our iso-transcriptome with public proteomics databases, we find that alternative isoforms are elusive to proteogenomics detection. SQANTI allows the user to maximize the analytical outcome of long-read technologies by providing the tools to deliver quality-evaluated and curated full-length transcriptomes.© 2018 Tardaguila et al.; Published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.

September 22, 2019  |  

Comprehensive profiling of rhizome-associated alternative splicing and alternative polyadenylation in moso bamboo (Phyllostachys edulis).

Moso bamboo (Phyllostachys edulis) represents one of the fastest-spreading plants in the world, due in part to its well-developed rhizome system. However, the post-transcriptional mechanism for the development of the rhizome system in bamboo has not been comprehensively studied. We therefore used a combination of single-molecule long-read sequencing technology and polyadenylation site sequencing (PAS-seq) to re-annotate the bamboo genome, and identify genome-wide alternative splicing (AS) and alternative polyadenylation (APA) in the rhizome system. In total, 145 522 mapped full-length non-chimeric (FLNC) reads were analyzed, resulting in the correction of 2241 mis-annotated genes and the identification of 8091 previously unannotated loci. Notably, more than 42 280 distinct splicing isoforms were derived from 128 667 intron-containing full-length FLNC reads, including a large number of AS events associated with rhizome systems. In addition, we characterized 25 069 polyadenylation sites from 11 450 genes, 6311 of which have APA sites. Further analysis of intronic polyadenylation revealed that LTR/Gypsy and LTR/Copia were two major transposable elements within the intronic polyadenylation region. Furthermore, this study provided a quantitative atlas of poly(A) usage. Several hundred differential poly(A) sites in the rhizome-root system were identified. Taken together, these results suggest that post-transcriptional regulation may potentially have a vital role in the underground rhizome-root system.© 2017 The Authors The Plant Journal © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

September 22, 2019  |  

A transcriptome atlas of rabbit revealed by PacBio single-molecule long-read sequencing.

It is widely acknowledged that transcriptional diversity largely contributes to biological regulation in eukaryotes. Since the advent of second-generation sequencing technologies, a large number of RNA sequencing studies have considerably improved our understanding of transcriptome complexity. However, it still remains a huge challenge for obtaining full-length transcripts because of difficulties in the short read-based assembly. In the present study we employ PacBio single-molecule long-read sequencing technology for whole-transcriptome profiling in rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus). We totally obtain 36,186 high-confidence transcripts from 14,474 genic loci, among which more than 23% of genic loci and 66% of isoforms have not been annotated yet within the current reference genome. Furthermore, about 17% of transcripts are computationally revealed to be non-coding RNAs. Up to 24,797 alternative splicing (AS) and 11,184 alternative polyadenylation (APA) events are detected within this de novo constructed transcriptome, respectively. The results provide a comprehensive set of reference transcripts and hence contribute to the improved annotation of rabbit genome.

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