W017 Extensive Changes to Alternative Splicing Patterns Following Allopolyploidy in Natural and Resynthesized Brassica napus

Date: Sunday, January 15, 2012
Time: 5:30 PM
Room: Royal Palm Salon 1-2
Keith Adams , University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Polyploidy has been a common process during the evolution of eukaryotes, especially plants, leading to speciation and the evolution of new gene functions. Gene expression levels and patterns can change, and gene silencing can occur in allopolyploids--phenomena sometimes referred to as "transcriptome shock." Alternative splicing (AS) creates multiple mature mRNAs from a single type of precursor mRNA. Here we examined the evolution of AS patterns after polyploidy, with natural and two resynthesized allotetraploid Brassica napus lines, using RT-PCR and sequencing assays of 82 AS events in duplicated gene pairs (homeologs). Comparing the AS patterns between the two homeologs in natural B. napus revealed that many of the gene pairs show different AS patterns, with a few showing variation that was organ specific or induced by abiotic stress treatments. In the resynthesized allotetraploids, 26-30% of the duplicated genes showed changes in AS compared with the parents, including many cases of AS event loss after polyploidy. Parallel losses of many AS events after allopolyploidy were detected in the two independently resynthesized lines. More changes occurred in parallel between the two lines than changes specific to each line. The PASTICCINO gene showed partitioning of two AS events between the two homeologs in the resynthesized allopolyploids. AS changes after allopolyploidy were much more common than homeolog silencing. Our findings indicate that AS patterns can change rapidly after polyploidy, that many genes are affected, and that AS changes are an important component of the transcriptome shock experienced by new allopolyploids.