Ping Lu, Daipeng Chen, Zhaomei Qi, Haoming Wang, Yitong Chen, Qinhu Wang, Cong Jiang, Huiquan Liu*. Landscape and regulation of alternative splicing and alternative polyadenylation in a plant pathogenic fungus. New Phytologist, 2022, doi: 10.1111/nph.18164
Alternative splicing (AS) and alternative polyadenylation (APA) contribute significantly to the regulation of gene expression in higher eukaryotes. Their biological impact in filamentous fungi, however, is largely unknown.
Here we combine PacBio Isoform-Sequencing and strand-specific RNA-Seq of multiple tissues and mutant characterization to reveal the landscape and regulation of AS and APA in Fusarium graminearum.
We generated a transcript annotation comprising 51,617 isoforms from 17,189 genes. In total, 4,997 and 11,133 genes are alternatively spliced and polyadenylated, respectively. Majority of the AS events alter coding sequences. Unexpectedly, the AS transcripts containing premature-termination codons are not sensitive to nonsense-mediated mRNA decay. Unlike in yeasts and animals, distal APA sites have strong signals, but proximal APA isoforms are highly expressed in F. graminearum. The 3’-end processing factors FgRNA15, FgHRP1, and FgFIP1 play roles in promoting proximal APA site usage and intron splicing. A genome-wide increase in intron inclusion and distal APA site usage and downregulation of the spliceosomal and 3’-end processing factors were observed in older and quiescent tissues, indicating intron inclusion and 3’-UTR lengthening as novel mechanisms in regulating aging and dormancy in fungi.
This study provides new insights into the complexity and regulation of AS and APA in filamentous fungi.