Send to

Choose Destination
Plant J. 2015 Oct;84(1):228-43. doi: 10.1111/tpj.12997.

Insect herbivory elicits genome-wide alternative splicing responses in Nicotiana attenuata.

Author information

Department of Molecular Ecology, Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology, Hans-Knöll-Straße 8, D-07745, Jena, Germany.


Changes in gene expression and alternative splicing (AS) are involved in many responses to abiotic and biotic stresses in eukaryotic organisms. In response to attack and oviposition by insect herbivores, plants elicit rapid changes in gene expression which are essential for the activation of plant defenses; however, the herbivory-induced changes in AS remain unstudied. Using mRNA sequencing, we performed a genome-wide analysis on tobacco hornworm (Manduca sexta) feeding-induced AS in both leaves and roots of Nicotiana attenuata. Feeding by M. sexta for 5 h reduced total AS events by 7.3% in leaves but increased them in roots by 8.0% and significantly changed AS patterns in leaves and roots of existing AS genes. Feeding by M. sexta also resulted in increased (in roots) and decreased (in leaves) transcript levels of the serine/arginine-rich (SR) proteins that are involved in the AS machinery of plants and induced changes in SR gene expression that were jasmonic acid (JA)-independent in leaves but JA-dependent in roots. Changes in AS and gene expression elicited by M. sexta feeding were regulated independently in both tissues. This study provides genome-wide evidence that insect herbivory induces changes not only in the levels of gene expression but also in their splicing, which might contribute to defense against and/or tolerance of herbivory.


Manduca sexta; Nicotiana attenuata; alternative splicing; herbivore-induced responses; jasmonic acid; serine/arginine-rich (SR) proteins

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center