Alternative splicing is a Sorghum bicolor defense response to fungal infection

Lanxiang Wang, Moxian Chen, Fuyuan Zhu, Tao Fan, Jianhua ZHANG*, Clive Lo*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Main conclusion: This study provides new insights that alternative splicing participates with transcriptional control in defense responses to Colletotrichum sublineola in sorghum Abstract: In eukaryotic organisms, alternative splicing (AS) is an important post-transcriptional mechanism to generate multiple transcript isoforms from a single gene. Protein variants translated from splicing isoforms may have altered molecular characteristics in signal transduction and metabolic activities. However, which transcript isoforms will be translated into proteins and the biological functions of the resulting proteoforms are yet to be identified. Sorghum is one of the five major cereal crops, but its production is severely affected by fungal diseases. For example, sorghum anthracnose caused by Colletotrichum sublineola greatly reduces grain yield and biomass production. In this study, next-generation sequencing technology was used to analyze C. sublineola-inoculated sorghum seedlings compared with mock-inoculated control. It was identified that AS regulation may be as important as traditional transcriptional control during defense responses to fungal infection. Moreover, several genes involved in flavonoid and phenylpropanoid biosynthetic pathways were found to undergo multiple AS modifications. Further analysis demonstrated that non-conventional targets of both 5′- and 3′-splice sites were alternatively used in response to C. sublineola infection. Splicing factors were also affected at both transcriptional and post-transcriptional levels. As the first transcriptome report on C. sublineola infected sorghum, our work also suggested that AS plays crucial functions in defense responses to fungal invasion.

Original languageEnglish
Article number14
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Genetics
  • Plant Science

User-Defined Keywords

  • Metabolic pathway
  • Post-transcriptional regulation
  • Splice site
  • Splicing factor


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