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Background: Alternative splicing (AS) is an important mechanism of posttranscriptional modification and dynamically regulates multiple physiological processes in plants, including fruit ripening. However, little is known about alternative splicing during fruit development in fleshy fruits. Results: We studied the alternative splicing at the immature and ripe stages during fruit development in cucumber, melon, papaya and peach. We found that 14.96–17.48% of multiexon genes exhibited alternative splicing. Intron retention was not always the most frequent event, indicating that the alternative splicing pattern during different developmental process differs. Alternative splicing was significantly more prevalent at the ripe stage than at the immature stage in cucumber and melon, while the opposite trend was shown in papaya and peach, implying that developmental stages adopt different alternative splicing strategies for their specific functions. Some genes involved in fruit ripening underwent stage-specific alternative splicing, indicating that alternative splicing regulates fruits ripening. Conserved alternative splicing events did not appear to be stage-specific. Clustering fruit developmental stages across the four species based on alternative splicing profiles resulted in species-specific clustering, suggesting that diversification of alternative splicing contributes to lineage-specific evolution in fleshy fruits. Conclusions: We obtained high quality transcriptomes and alternative splicing events during fruit development across the four species. Dynamics and nonconserved alternative splicing were discovered. The candidate stage-specific AS genes involved in fruit ripening will provide valuable insight into the roles of alternative splicing during the developmental processes of fleshy fruits.
Yan, X., Bai, D., Song, H., Lin, K., & Pang, E. (2021). Alternative splicing during fruit development among fleshy fruits. BMC Genomics, 22(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12864-021-08111-1