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Genome-Wide Analysis of Heat-Sensitive Alternative Splicing in Physcomitrella patens

By C.-Y. Chang, W.-D. Lin and S.-L. Tu


Plant growth and development are constantly influenced by temperature fluctuations. To respond to temperature changes, different levels of gene regulation are modulated in the cell. Alternative splicing (AS) is a widespread mechanism increasing transcriptome complexity and proteome diversity. Although genome-wide studies have revealed complex AS patterns in plants, whether AS impacts the stress defense of plants is not known. We used heat shock (HS) treatments at nondamaging temperature and messenger RNA sequencing to obtain HS transcriptomes in the moss Physcomitrella patens. Data analysis identified a significant number of novel AS events in the moss protonema. Nearly 50% of genes are alternatively spliced. Intron retention (IR) is markedly repressed under elevated temperature but alternative donor/acceptor site and exon skipping are mainly induced, indicating differential regulation of AS in response to heat stress. Transcripts undergoing heat-sensitive IR are mostly involved in specific functions, which suggests that plants regulate AS with transcript specificity under elevated temperature. An exonic GAG-repeat motif in these IR regions may function as a regulatory cis-element in heat-mediated AS regulation. A conserved AS pattern for HS transcription factors in P. patens and Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) reveals that heat regulation for AS evolved early during land colonization of green plants. Our results support that AS of specific genes, including key HS regulators, is fine-tuned under elevated temperature to modulate gene regulation and reorganize metabolic processes

Year: 2015
DOI identifier: 10.1104/pp.113.230540
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