Genome-wide identification and comparative analysis of alternative splicing across four legume species

Research paper by Zan Wang, Han Zhang, Wenlong Gong

Indexed on: 08 Jan '19Published on: 02 Jan '19Published in: Planta


Alternative splicing EVENTS were genome-wide identified for four legume species, and nitrogen fixation-related gene families and evolutionary analysis was also performed.Alternative splicing (AS) is a key regulatory mechanism that contributes to transcriptome and proteome diversity. Investigation of the genome-wide conserved AS events across different species will help with the understanding of the evolution of the functional diversity in legumes, allowing for genetic improvement. Genome-wide identification and characterization of AS were performed using the publically available mRNA, EST, and RNA-Seq data for four important legume species. A total of 15,165 AS genes in Glycine max, 6077 in Cicer arietinum, 7240 in Medicago truncatula, and 7358 in Lotus japonicus were identified. Intron retention (IntronR) was the dominant AS type among the identified events, with IntronR occurring from 53.76% in M. truncatula to 43.91% in C. arietinum. We identified 1159 AS genes that were conserved among four species. Furthermore, nine nitrogen fixation-related gene families with 237 genes were identified, and 80 of them were AS, accounting for the 43.48% in G. max and 27.78% in C. arietinum. An evolutionary analysis showed that these AS genes tended to be located adjacent to each other in the evolutionary tree and are unbalanced in the distribution in the sub-family. This study provides a foundation for future studies on transcription complexity, evolution, and the role of AS on plant functional regulation.