Global identification of alternative splicing via comparative analysis of SMRT- and Illumina-based RNA-seq in strawberry.
Alternative splicing (AS) is a key post-transcriptional regulatory mechanism, yet little information is known about its roles in fruit crops. Here, AS was globally analyzed in the wild strawberry Fragaria vesca genome with RNA-seq data derived from different stages of fruit development. The AS landscape was characterized and compared between the single-molecule, real-time (SMRT) and Illumina RNA-seq platform. While SMRT has a lower sequencing depth, it identifies more genes undergoing AS (57.67% of detected multiexon genes) when it is compared with Illumina (33.48%), illustrating the efficacy of SMRT in AS identification. We investigated different modes of AS in the context of fruit development; the percentage of intron retention (IR) is markedly reduced whereas that of alternative acceptor sites (AA) is significantly increased post-fertilization when compared with pre-fertilization. When all the identified transcripts were combined, a total of 66.43% detected multiexon genes in strawberry undergo AS, some of which lead to a gain or loss of conserved domains in the gene products. The work demonstrates that SMRT sequencing is highly powerful in AS discovery and provides a rich data resource for later functional studies of different isoforms. Further, shifting AS modes may contribute to rapid changes of gene expression during fruit set.© 2016 The Authors The Plant Journal © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.