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PLoS One. 2013 Jun 11;8(6):e66511. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0066511. Print 2013.

Genome-wide survey of cold stress regulated alternative splicing in Arabidopsis thaliana with tiling microarray.

Author information

1
Department of Plant Sciences, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel.

Abstract

Alternative splicing plays a major role in expanding the potential informational content of eukaryotic genomes. It is an important post-transcriptional regulatory mechanism that can increase protein diversity and affect mRNA stability. Alternative splicing is often regulated in a tissue-specific and stress-responsive manner. Cold stress, which adversely affects plant growth and development, regulates the transcription and splicing of plant splicing factors. This can affect the pre-mRNA processing of many genes. To identify cold regulated alternative splicing we applied Affymetrix Arabidopsis tiling arrays to survey the transcriptome under cold treatment conditions. A novel algorithm was used for detection of statistically relevant changes in intron expression within a transcript between control and cold growth conditions. A reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) analysis of a number of randomly selected genes confirmed the changes in splicing patterns under cold stress predicted by tiling array. Our analysis revealed new types of cold responsive genes. While their expression level remains relatively unchanged under cold stress their splicing pattern shows detectable changes in the relative abundance of isoforms. The majority of cold regulated alternative splicing introduced a premature termination codon (PTC) into the transcripts creating potential targets for degradation by the nonsense mediated mRNA decay (NMD) process. A number of these genes were analyzed in NMD-defective mutants by RT-PCR and shown to evade NMD. This may result in new and truncated proteins with altered functions or dominant negative effects. The results indicate that cold affects both quantitative and qualitative aspects of gene expression.

PMID:
23776682
PMCID:
PMC3679080
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0066511
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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