Complexity of the alternative splicing landscape in plants

The Plant Cell
Anireddy S N ReddyAndrea Barta


Alternative splicing (AS) of precursor mRNAs (pre-mRNAs) from multiexon genes allows organisms to increase their coding potential and regulate gene expression through multiple mechanisms. Recent transcriptome-wide analysis of AS using RNA sequencing has revealed that AS is highly pervasive in plants. Pre-mRNAs from over 60% of intron-containing genes undergo AS to produce a vast repertoire of mRNA isoforms. The functions of most splice variants are unknown. However, emerging evidence indicates that splice variants increase the functional diversity of proteins. Furthermore, AS is coupled to transcript stability and translation through nonsense-mediated decay and microRNA-mediated gene regulation. Widespread changes in AS in response to developmental cues and stresses suggest a role for regulated splicing in plant development and stress responses. Here, we review recent progress in uncovering the extent and complexity of the AS landscape in plants, its regulation, and the roles of AS in gene regulation. The prevalence of AS in plants has raised many new questions that require additional studies. New tools based on recent technological advances are allowing genome-wide analysis of RNA elements in transcripts and of chromatin modif...Continue Reading

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Related Concepts

Nested Transcripts
Primary RNA Transcript
Sequence Determinations, RNA
Cross Reactions
Gene Expression Regulation, Plant
Gene Expression
Nuclear mRNA Cis Splicing, via Spliceosome
Nonsense Mediated mRNA Decay
Plant Development
RNA Splicing

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