September 22, 2019  |  

The transcriptome of human pluripotent stem cells.

Human Embryonic Stem Cells (hESCs) are in vitro derivatives of the inner cell mass of the blastocyst and are characterized by an undifferentiated and pluripotent state that can be perpetuated in time, indefinitely. hESCs provide a unique opportunity to both dissect the molecular mechanisms that are predisposed to the maintenance of pluripotency and model the ability to initiate differentiation and cell commitment within the developing embryo. To fully understand these mechanisms, it is necessary to accurately identify the specific transcriptome of hESCs. Many distinct gene annotation methods, such as cDNA and EST sequencing and RNA-Seq, have been used to identify the transcriptome of hESCs. Lately, we developed a new tool (IDP) to integrate the hybrid sequencing data to characterize a more reliable and comprehensive hESC transcriptome with discoveries of many novel transcripts. Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.


September 22, 2019  |  

A global survey of alternative splicing in allopolyploid cotton: landscape, complexity and regulation.

Alternative splicing (AS) is a crucial regulatory mechanism in eukaryotes, which acts by greatly increasing transcriptome diversity. The extent and complexity of AS has been revealed in model plants using high-throughput next-generation sequencing. However, this technique is less effective in accurately identifying transcript isoforms in polyploid species because of the high sequence similarity between coexisting subgenomes. Here we characterize AS in the polyploid species cotton. Using Pacific Biosciences single-molecule long-read isoform sequencing (Iso-Seq), we developed an integrated pipeline for Iso-Seq transcriptome data analysis (https://github.com/Nextomics/pipeline-for-isoseq). We identified 176 849 full-length transcript isoforms from 44 968 gene models and updated gene annotation. These data led us to identify 15 102 fibre-specific AS events and estimate that c. 51.4% of homoeologous genes produce divergent isoforms in each subgenome. We reveal that AS allows differential regulation of the same gene by miRNAs at the isoform level. We also show that nucleosome occupancy and DNA methylation play a role in defining exons at the chromatin level. This study provides new insights into the complexity and regulation of AS, and will enhance our understanding of AS in polyploid species. Our methodology for Iso-Seq data analysis will be a useful reference for the study of AS in other species.© 2017 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2017 New Phytologist Trust.


September 22, 2019  |  

The state of long non-coding RNA biology.

Transcriptomic studies have demonstrated that the vast majority of the genomes of mammals and other complex organisms is expressed in highly dynamic and cell-specific patterns to produce large numbers of intergenic, antisense and intronic long non-protein-coding RNAs (lncRNAs). Despite well characterized examples, their scaling with developmental complexity, and many demonstrations of their association with cellular processes, development and diseases, lncRNAs are still to be widely accepted as major players in gene regulation. This may reflect an underappreciation of the extent and precision of the epigenetic control of differentiation and development, where lncRNAs appear to have a central role, likely as organizational and guide molecules: most lncRNAs are nuclear-localized and chromatin-associated, with some involved in the formation of specialized subcellular domains. I suggest that a reassessment of the conceptual framework of genetic information and gene expression in the 4-dimensional ontogeny of spatially organized multicellular organisms is required. Together with this and further studies on their biology, the key challenges now are to determine the structure?function relationships of lncRNAs, which may be aided by emerging evidence of their modular structure, the role of RNA editing and modification in enabling epigenetic plasticity, and the role of RNA signaling in transgenerational inheritance of experience.


September 22, 2019  |  

A high-quality annotated transcriptome of swine peripheral blood.

High throughput gene expression profiling assays of peripheral blood are widely used in biomedicine, as well as in animal genetics and physiology research. Accurate, comprehensive, and precise interpretation of such high throughput assays relies on well-characterized reference genomes and/or transcriptomes. However, neither the reference genome nor the peripheral blood transcriptome of the pig have been sufficiently assembled and annotated to support such profiling assays in this emerging biomedical model organism. We aimed to assemble published and novel RNA-seq data to provide a comprehensive, well-annotated blood transcriptome for pigs by integrating a de novo assembly with a genome-guided assembly.A de novo and a genome-guided transcriptome of porcine whole peripheral blood was assembled with ~162 million pairs of paired-end and ~183 million single-end, trimmed and normalized Illumina RNA-seq reads (~6 billion initial reads from 146 RNA-seq libraries) from five independent studies by using the Trinity and Cufflinks software, respectively. We then removed putative transcripts (PTs) of low confidence from both assemblies and merged the remaining PTs into an integrated transcriptome consisting of 132,928 PTs, with 126,225 (~95%) PTs from the de novo assembly and more than 91% of PTs spliced. In the integrated transcriptome, ~90% and 63% of PTs had significant sequence similarity to sequences in the NCBI NT and NR databases, respectively; 68,754 (~52%) PTs were annotated with 15,965 unique gene ontology (GO) terms; and 7618 PTs annotated with Enzyme Commission codes were assigned to 134 pathways curated by the Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG). Full exon-intron junctions of 17,528 PTs were validated by PacBio IsoSeq full-length cDNA reads from 3 other porcine tissues, NCBI pig RefSeq mRNAs and transcripts from Ensembl Sscrofa10.2 annotation. Completeness of the 5′ termini of 37,569 PTs was validated by public cap analysis of gene expression (CAGE) data. By comparison to the Ensembl transcripts, we found that (1) the deduced precursors of 54,402 PTs shared at least one intron or exon with those of 18,437 Ensembl transcripts; (2) 12,262 PTs had both longer 5′ and 3′ termini than their maximally overlapping Ensembl transcripts; and (3) 41,838 spliced PTs were totally missing from the Sscrofa10.2 annotation. Similar results were obtained when the PTs were compared to the pig NCBI RefSeq mRNA collection.We built, validated and annotated a comprehensive porcine blood transcriptome with significant improvement over the annotation of Ensembl Sscrofa10.2 and the pig NCBI RefSeq mRNAs, and laid a foundation for blood-based high throughput transcriptomic assays in pigs and for advancing annotation of the pig genome.


September 22, 2019  |  

Long-read sequencing revealed an extensive transcript complexity in herpesviruses.

Long-read sequencing (LRS) techniques are very recent advancements, but they have already been used for transcriptome research in all of the three subfamilies of herpesviruses. These techniques have multiplied the number of known transcripts in each of the examined viruses. Meanwhile, they have revealed a so far hidden complexity of the herpesvirus transcriptome with the discovery of a large number of novel RNA molecules, including coding and non-coding RNAs, as well as transcript isoforms, and polycistronic RNAs. Additionally, LRS techniques have uncovered an intricate meshwork of transcriptional overlaps between adjacent and distally located genes. Here, we review the contribution of LRS to herpesvirus transcriptomics and present the complexity revealed by this technology, while also discussing the functional significance of this phenomenon.


September 22, 2019  |  

Characterization of novel transcripts in pseudorabies virus.

In this study we identified two 3′-coterminal RNA molecules in the pseudorabies virus. The highly abundant short transcript (CTO-S) proved to be encoded between the ul21 and ul22 genes in close vicinity of the replication origin (OriL) of the virus. The less abundant long RNA molecule (CTO-L) is a transcriptional readthrough product of the ul21 gene and overlaps OriL. These polyadenylated RNAs were characterized by ascertaining their nucleotide sequences with the Illumina HiScanSQ and Pacific Biosciences Real-Time (PacBio RSII) sequencing platforms and by analyzing their transcription kinetics through use of multi-time-point Real-Time RT-PCR and the PacBio RSII system. It emerged that transcription of the CTOs is fully dependent on the viral transactivator protein IE180 and CTO-S is not a microRNA precursor. We propose an interaction between the transcription and replication machineries at this genomic location, which might play an important role in the regulation of DNA synthesis.


September 22, 2019  |  

Full-length transcriptome survey and expression analysis of Cassia obtusifolia to discover putative genes related to aurantio-obtusin biosynthesis, seed formation and development, and stress response.

The seed is the pharmaceutical and breeding organ of Cassia obtusifolia, a well-known medical herb containing aurantio-obtusin (a kind of anthraquinone), food, and landscape. In order to understand the molecular mechanism of the biosynthesis of aurantio-obtusin, seed formation and development, and stress response of C. obtusifolia, it is necessary to understand the genomics information. Although previous seed transcriptome of C. obtusifolia has been carried out by short-read next-generation sequencing (NGS) technology, the vast majority of the resulting unigenes did not represent full-length cDNA sequences and supply enough gene expression profile information of the various organs or tissues. In this study, fifteen cDNA libraries, which were constructed from the seed, root, stem, leaf, and flower (three repetitions with each organ) of C. obtusifolia, were sequenced using hybrid approach combining single-molecule real-time (SMRT) and NGS platform. More than 4,315,774 long reads with 9.66 Gb sequencing data and 361,427,021 short reads with 108.13 Gb sequencing data were generated by SMRT and NGS platform, respectively. 67,222 consensus isoforms were clustered from the reads and 81.73% (61,016) of which were longer than 1000 bp. Furthermore, the 67,222 consensus isoforms represented 58,106 nonredundant transcripts, 98.25% (57,092) of which were annotated and 25,573 of which were assigned to specific metabolic pathways by KEGG. CoDXS and CoDXR genes were directly used for functional characterization to validate the accuracy of sequences obtained from transcriptome. A total of 658 seed-specific transcripts indicated their special roles in physiological processes in seed. Analysis of transcripts which were involved in the early stage of anthraquinone biosynthesis suggested that the aurantio-obtusin in C. obtusifolia was mainly generated from isochorismate and Mevalonate/methylerythritol phosphate (MVA/MEP) pathway, and three reactions catalyzed by Menaquinone-specific isochorismate synthase (ICS), 1-deoxy-d-xylulose-5-phosphate synthase (DXS) and isopentenyl diphosphate (IPPS) might be the limited steps. Several seed-specific CYPs, SAM-dependent methyltransferase, and UDP-glycosyltransferase (UDPG) supplied promising candidate genes in the late stage of anthraquinone biosynthesis. In addition, four seed-specific transcriptional factors including three MYB Transcription Factor (MYB) and one MADS-box Transcription Factor (MADS) transcriptional factors) and alternative splicing might be involved with seed formation and development. Meanwhile, most members of Hsp20 genes showed high expression level in seed and flower; seven of which might have chaperon activities under various abiotic stresses. Finally, the expressional patterns of genes with particular interests showed similar trends in both transcriptome assay and qRT-PCR. In conclusion, this is the first full-length transcriptome sequencing reported in Caesalpiniaceae family, and thus providing a more complete insight into aurantio-obtusin biosynthesis, seed formation and development, and stress response as well in C. obtusifolia.


September 22, 2019  |  

PLEK: a tool for predicting long non-coding RNAs and messenger RNAs based on an improved k-mer scheme.

High-throughput transcriptome sequencing (RNA-seq) technology promises to discover novel protein-coding and non-coding transcripts, particularly the identification of long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) from de novo sequencing data. This requires tools that are not restricted by prior gene annotations, genomic sequences and high-quality sequencing.We present an alignment-free tool called PLEK (predictor of long non-coding RNAs and messenger RNAs based on an improved k-mer scheme), which uses a computational pipeline based on an improved k-mer scheme and a support vector machine (SVM) algorithm to distinguish lncRNAs from messenger RNAs (mRNAs), in the absence of genomic sequences or annotations. The performance of PLEK was evaluated on well-annotated mRNA and lncRNA transcripts. 10-fold cross-validation tests on human RefSeq mRNAs and GENCODE lncRNAs indicated that our tool could achieve accuracy of up to 95.6%. We demonstrated the utility of PLEK on transcripts from other vertebrates using the model built from human datasets. PLEK attained >90% accuracy on most of these datasets. PLEK also performed well using a simulated dataset and two real de novo assembled transcriptome datasets (sequenced by PacBio and 454 platforms) with relatively high indel sequencing errors. In addition, PLEK is approximately eightfold faster than a newly developed alignment-free tool, named Coding-Non-Coding Index (CNCI), and 244 times faster than the most popular alignment-based tool, Coding Potential Calculator (CPC), in a single-threading running manner.PLEK is an efficient alignment-free computational tool to distinguish lncRNAs from mRNAs in RNA-seq transcriptomes of species lacking reference genomes. PLEK is especially suitable for PacBio or 454 sequencing data and large-scale transcriptome data. Its open-source software can be freely downloaded from https://sourceforge.net/projects/plek/files/.


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  |  

Capturing a long look at our genetic library.

Long-read sequencing, coupled to cDNA capture, provides an unrivaled view of the transcriptome of chromosome 21, revealing surprises about the splicing of long noncoding RNAs. Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier Inc.


September 22, 2019  |  

Neural circular RNAs are derived from synaptic genes and regulated by development and plasticity.

Circular RNAs (circRNAs) have re-emerged as an interesting RNA species. Using deep RNA profiling in different mouse tissues, we observed that circRNAs were substantially enriched in brain and a disproportionate fraction of them were derived from host genes that encode synaptic proteins. Moreover, on the basis of separate profiling of the RNAs localized in neuronal cell bodies and neuropil, circRNAs were, on average, more enriched in the neuropil than their host gene mRNA isoforms. Using high-resolution in situ hybridization, we visualized circRNA punctae in the dendrites of neurons. Consistent with the idea that circRNAs might regulate synaptic function during development, many circRNAs changed their abundance abruptly at a time corresponding to synaptogenesis. In addition, following a homeostatic downscaling of neuronal activity many circRNAs exhibited substantial up- or downregulation. Together, our data indicate that brain circRNAs are positioned to respond to and regulate synaptic function.


September 22, 2019  |  

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 species. Finally, we discuss the outlook of integrating other genomic data with splicing analyses to identify regulatory mechanisms of AS on genome-wide scale. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


September 22, 2019  |  

Integrated DNA methylome and transcriptome analysis reveals the ethylene-induced flowering pathway genes in pineapple.

Ethylene has long been used to promote flowering in pineapple production. Ethylene-induced flowering is dose dependent, with a critical threshold level of ethylene response factors needed to trigger flowering. The mechanism of ethylene-induced flowering is still unclear. Here, we integrated isoform sequencing (iso-seq), Illumina short-reads sequencing and whole-genome bisulfite sequencing (WGBS) to explore the early changes of transcriptomic and DNA methylation in pineapple following high-concentration ethylene (HE) and low-concentration ethylene (LE) treatment. Iso-seq produced 122,338 transcripts, including 26,893 alternative splicing isoforms, 8,090 novel transcripts and 12,536 candidate long non-coding RNAs. The WGBS results suggested a decrease in CG methylation and increase in CHH methylation following HE treatment. The LE and HE treatments induced drastic changes in transcriptome and DNA methylome, with LE inducing the initial response to flower induction and HE inducing the subsequent response. The dose-dependent induction of FLOWERING LOCUS T-like genes (FTLs) may have contributed to dose-dependent flowering induction in pineapple by ethylene. Alterations in DNA methylation, lncRNAs and multiple genes may be involved in the regulation of FTLs. Our data provided a landscape of the transcriptome and DNA methylome and revealed a candidate network that regulates flowering time in pineapple, which may promote further studies.


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