P0111 Alternative Splicing Detection Using RNAseq: An assembly approach

Likit Preeyanon , Michigan State University, Lansing, MI
Jerry Dodgson , Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI
Hans H. Cheng , USDA, ARS, ADOL, East Lansing, MI
C. Titus Brown , Michigan State University
Recently, RNA sequencing (RNAseq) from Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) technology has been successfully used to study alternative splicing in humans and mice. Methods used in these analyses rely solely on high quality gene models. Consequently, these methods are not suitable for other organisms lacking high quality gene annotations. To overcome this problem, other methods have been developed; for example, one method does not rely on an existing annotation but instead constructs the gene models from sequence reads that are mapped to the genome. However, the method is limited by using only sequence reads that are mapped to the genome and gene models are built based on a computational prediction.

We have developed a new method, employing an assembly approach, to build gene models and identify alternative isoforms. We have been using this method to study alternative splicing in chickens from two inbred lines that are resistance and susceptible to Marek’s disease (MD). The method identified many novel genes and isoforms that are not included in existing gene models. Isoforms were confirmed by reads that mapped across the exons. All kinds of alternative splicing events were detected including cassette exons, alternative splice sites, alternative 5’ and 3’ end, mutually exclusive exons and intron retention. Moreover, the method has successfully detected alternative isoforms between two chicken inbred lines that might contribute to genetic resistance to MD. Furthermore, this method does not rely on existing gene annotations, therefore, it can be applied to study alternative splicing in any organism.