RNA-Seq reveals a high frequency of alternative splicing events in fungus

Alternative splicing is crucial for proteome diversity and functional complexity in higher organisms. However, the alternative splicing landscape in fungi is still elusive.

The transcriptome of the filamentous fungus Trichoderma longibrachiatum was deep sequenced using Illumina Solexa technology. A total of 14305 splice junctions were discovered. Analyses of alternative splicing events revealed that the number of all alternative splicing events (10034), intron retentions (IR, 9369), alternative 5’ splice sites (A5SS, 167), and alternative 3’ splice sites (A3SS, 302) is 7.3, 7.4, 5.1, and 5.9-fold higher, respectively, than those observed in the fungus Aspergillus oryzae using Illumina Solexa technology.

rna-seq

This unexpectedly high ratio of alternative splicing suggests that alternative splicing is important to the transcriptome diversity of T. longibrachiatum. Alternatively spliced introns had longer lengths, higher GC contents, and lower splice site scores than constitutive introns. Further analysis demonstrated that the isoform relative frequencies were correlated with the splice site scores of the isoforms. Moreover, comparative transcriptomics determined that most enzymes related to glycolysis and the citrate cycle and glyoxylate cycle as well as a few carbohydrate-active enzymes are transcriptionally regulated.

Xie BB, Li D, Shi WL, Qin QL, Wang XW, Rong JC, Sun CY, Huang F, Zhang XY, Dong XW, Chen XL, Zhou BC, Zhang YZ, Song XY. (2015) Deep RNA sequencing reveals a high frequency of alternative splicing events in the fungus Trichoderma longibrachiatum. BMC Genomics 16(1):54. [abstract]

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