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.