Alternative splicing (AS), which produces multiple mRNA transcripts from a single gene, plays crucial roles in plant growth, development and environmental stress responses. Functional significances of conserved AS events among congeneric species have not been well characterized. In this study, we performed transcriptome sequencing to characterize AS events in four common species of Sonneratia, a mangrove genus excellently adaptive to intertidal zones. 7,248 to 12,623 AS events were identified in approximately 25% to 35% expressed genes in the roots of the four species. The frequency of AS events in Sonneratia was associated with genomic features, including gene expression level and intron/exon number and length. Among the four species, 1,355 evolutionarily conserved AS (ECAS) events were identified from 1,170 genes. Compared with non-ECAS events, ECAS events are of shorter length and less possibility to introduce premature stop codons (PTCs) and frameshifts. Functional annotations of the genes containing ECAS events showed that four of the 26 enriched Gene Ontology (GO) terms are involved in proton transport, signal transduction and carbon metabolism, and 60 genes from another three GO terms are implicated in responses to osmotic, oxidative and heat stresses, which may contribute to the adaptation of Sonneratia species to harsh intertidal environments.
Scientific Reports – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 13, 2018
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