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November 1, 2018

Global dissection of alternative splicing uncovers transcriptional diversity in tissues and associates with the flavonoid pathway in tea plant (Camellia sinensis).

Alternative splicing (AS) regulates mRNA at the post-transcriptional level to change gene function in organisms. However, little is known about the AS and its roles in tea plant (Camellia sinensis), widely cultivated for making a popular beverage tea.In our study, the AS landscape and dynamics were characterized in eight tissues (bud, young leaf, summer mature leaf, winter old leaf, stem, root, flower, fruit) of tea plant by Illumina RNA-Seq and confirmed by Iso-Seq. The most abundant AS (~?20%) was intron retention and involved in RNA processes. The some alternative splicings were found to be tissue specific in stem and root etc.…

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October 6, 2018

Regulation of neuronal differentiation, function, and plasticity by alternative splicing.

Posttranscriptional mechanisms provide powerful means to expand the coding power of genomes. In nervous systems, alternative splicing has emerged as a fundamental mechanism not only for the diversification of protein isoforms but also for the spatiotemporal control of transcripts. Thus, alternative splicing programs play instructive roles in the development of neuronal cell type-specific properties, neuronal growth, self-recognition, synapse specification, and neuronal network function. Here we discuss the most recent genome-wide efforts on mapping RNA codes and RNA-binding proteins for neuronal alternative splicing regulation. We illustrate how alternative splicing shapes key steps of neuronal development, neuronal maturation, and synaptic properties. Finally,…

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October 1, 2018

Computational analysis of alternative splicing in plant genomes.

Computational analyses play crucial roles in characterizing splicing isoforms in plant genomes. In this review, we provide a survey of computational tools used in recently published, genome-scale splicing analyses in plants. We summarize the commonly used software and pipelines for read mapping, isoform reconstruction, isoform quantification, and differential expression analysis. We also discuss methods for analyzing long reads and the strategies to combine long and short reads in identifying splicing isoforms. We review several tools for characterizing local splicing events, splicing graphs, coding potential, and visualizing splicing isoforms. We further discuss the procedures for identifying conserved splicing isoforms across plant…

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August 1, 2018

A survey of transcriptome complexity in Sus scrofa using single-molecule long-read sequencing.

Alternative splicing (AS) and fusion transcripts produce a vast expansion of transcriptomes and proteomes diversity. However, the reliability of these events and the extend of epigenetic mechanisms have not been adequately addressed due to its limitation of uncertainties about the complete structure of mRNA. Here we combined single-molecule real-time sequencing, Illumina RNA-seq and DNA methylation data to characterize the landscapes of DNA methylation on AS, fusion isoforms formation and lncRNA feature and further to unveil the transcriptome complexity of pig. Our analysis identified an unprecedented scale of high-quality full-length isoforms with over 28,127 novel isoforms from 26,881 novel genes. More…

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August 1, 2018

Event analysis: Using transcript events to improve estimates of abundance in RNA-seq data.

Alternative splicing leverages genomic content by allowing the synthesis of multiple transcripts and, by implication, protein isoforms, from a single gene. However, estimating the abundance of transcripts produced in a given tissue from short sequencing reads is difficult and can result in both the construction of transcripts that do not exist, and the failure to identify true transcripts. An alternative approach is to catalog the events that make up isoforms (splice junctions and exons). We present here the Event Analysis (EA) approach, where we project transcripts onto the genome and identify overlapping/unique regions and junctions. In addition, all possible logical…

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August 1, 2018

Single-cell RNAseq for the study of isoforms-how is that possible?

Single-cell RNAseq and alternative splicing studies have recently become two of the most prominent applications of RNAseq. However, the combination of both is still challenging, and few research efforts have been dedicated to the intersection between them. Cell-level insight on isoform expression is required to fully understand the biology of alternative splicing, but it is still an open question to what extent isoform expression analysis at the single-cell level is actually feasible. Here, we establish a set of four conditions that are required for a successful single-cell-level isoform study and evaluate how these conditions are met by these technologies in…

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August 1, 2018

Full-length RNA sequencing reveals unique transcriptome composition in bermudagrass.

Bermudagrass [Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers.] is an important perennial warm-season turfgrass species with great economic value. However, the reference genome and transcriptome information are still deficient in bermudagrass, which severely impedes functional and molecular breeding studies. In this study, through analyzing a mixture sample of leaves, stolons, shoots, roots and flowers with single-molecule long-read sequencing technology from Pacific Biosciences (PacBio), we reported the first full-length transcriptome dataset of bermudagrass (C. dactylon cultivar Yangjiang) comprising 78,192 unigenes. Among the unigenes, 66,409 were functionally annotated, whereas 27,946 were found to have two or more isoforms. The annotated full-length unigenes provided many new…

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July 1, 2018

Long-read sequencing of nascent RNA reveals coupling among RNA processing events.

Pre-mRNA splicing is accomplished by the spliceosome, a megadalton complex that assembles de novo on each intron. Because spliceosome assembly and catalysis occur cotranscriptionally, we hypothesized that introns are removed in the order of their transcription in genomes dominated by constitutive splicing. Remarkably little is known about splicing order and the regulatory potential of nascent transcript remodeling by splicing, due to the limitations of existing methods that focus on analysis of mature splicing products (mRNAs) rather than substrates and intermediates. Here, we overcome this obstacle through long-read RNA sequencing of nascent, multi-intron transcripts in the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe Most…

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June 20, 2018

Revealing the transcriptomic complexity of switchgrass by PacBio long-read sequencing.

Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) is an important bioenergy crop widely used for lignocellulosic research. While extensive transcriptomic analyses have been conducted on this species using short read-based sequencing techniques, very little has been reliably derived regarding alternatively spliced (AS) transcripts.We present an analysis of transcriptomes of six switchgrass tissue types pooled together, sequenced using Pacific Biosciences (PacBio) single-molecular long-read technology. Our analysis identified 105,419 unique transcripts covering 43,570 known genes and 8795 previously unknown genes. 45,168 are novel transcripts of known genes. A total of 60,096 AS transcripts are identified, 45,628 being novel. We have also predicted 1549 transcripts of…

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June 1, 2018

TranscriptClean: Variant-aware correction of indels, mismatches, and splice junctions in long-read transcripts.

Long-read, single-molecule sequencing platforms hold great potential for isoform discovery and characterization of multi-exon transcripts. However, their high error rates are an obstacle to distinguishing novel transcripts isoforms from sequencing artifacts. Therefore, we developed the package TranscriptClean to correct mismatches, microindels, and noncanonical splice junctions in mapped transcripts using the reference genome while preserving known variants.Our method corrects nearly all mismatches and indels present in a publically available human PacBio Iso-seq dataset, and rescues 39% of noncanonical splice junctions.All Python and R scripts used in this paper are available at https://github.com/dewyman/TranscriptClean.None.

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June 1, 2018

A comparative transcriptional landscape of maize and sorghum obtained by single-molecule sequencing.

Maize and sorghum are both important crops with similar overall plant architectures, but they have key differences, especially in regard to their inflorescences. To better understand these two organisms at the molecular level, we compared expression profiles of both protein-coding and noncoding transcripts in 11 matched tissues using single-molecule, long-read, deep RNA sequencing. This comparative analysis revealed large numbers of novel isoforms in both species. Evolutionarily young genes were likely to be generated in reproductive tissues and usually had fewer isoforms than old genes. We also observed similarities and differences in alternative splicing patterns and activities, both among tissues and…

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June 1, 2018

PHACTR1 splicing isoforms and eQTLs in atherosclerosis-relevant human cells.

Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified a variant (rs9349379) at the phosphatase and actin regulator 1 (PHACTR1) locus that is associated with coronary artery disease (CAD). The same variant is also an expression quantitative trait locus (eQTL) for PHACTR1 in human coronary arteries (hCA). Here, we sought to characterize PHACTR1 splicing pattern in atherosclerosis-relevant human cells. We also explored how rs9349379 modulates the expression of the different PHACTR1 splicing isoforms.We combined rapid amplification of cDNA ends (RACE) with next-generation long-read DNA sequencing to discover all PHACTR1 transcripts in many human tissues and cell types. We measured PHACTR1 transcripts by qPCR…

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June 1, 2018

Transcriptome characterization of moso bamboo (Phyllostachys edulis) seedlings in response to exogenous gibberellin applications.

Moso bamboo (Phyllostachys edulis) is a well-known bamboo species of high economic value in the textile industry due to its rapid growth. Phytohormones, which are master regulators of growth and development, serve as important endogenous signals. However, the mechanisms through which phytohormones regulate growth in moso bamboo remain unknown to date.Here, we reported that exogenous gibberellins (GA) applications resulted in a significantly increased internode length and lignin condensation. Transcriptome sequencing revealed that photosynthesis-related genes were enriched in the GA-repressed gene class, which was consistent with the decrease in leaf chlorophyll concentrations and the lower rate of photosynthesis following GA treatment.…

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May 1, 2018

Evaluating approaches to find exon chains based on long reads.

Transcript prediction can be modeled as a graph problem where exons are modeled as nodes and reads spanning two or more exons are modeled as exon chains. Pacific Biosciences third-generation sequencing technology produces significantly longer reads than earlier second-generation sequencing technologies, which gives valuable information about longer exon chains in a graph. However, with the high error rates of third-generation sequencing, aligning long reads correctly around the splice sites is a challenging task. Incorrect alignments lead to spurious nodes and arcs in the graph, which in turn lead to incorrect transcript predictions. We survey several approaches to find the exon…

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