Submitted to: Fungal Genetics Conference Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/11/2007
Publication Date: 3/20/2007
Citation: Brown, D.W., Butchko, R.A., Ma, L. 2007. Survey of genome-wide occurrence of alternative splice forms in Fusarium verticillioides [abstract]. Fungal Genetics Conference. p. 124. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Fusarium verticillioides is a pathogen of maize and is associated with disease at every life stage of the plant. Contamination of infected kernels with the polyketide derived mycotoxin fumonisins contribute significantly to economic losses to the maize grain industry worldwide. Ingested fumonisins cause a variety of animal diseases and are correlated to human cancers and neural tube defects. Understanding basic fundamental strategies regulating fungal processes will aid our efforts to limit F. verticillioides maize diseases as well as fumonisin contamination. Alternative splicing of transcripts in many higher eukaryotes play a critical role in expanding gene function by increasing protein diversity. The few examples of alternative splice forms (ASFs) described in fungi predominantly involve intron retention. The availability of large scale expressed sequence (EST) collections, coupled with genomic DNA from a number of fungi, indicate that ASFs are more widely prevalent than previously thought. Analysis of over 87,000 F. verticillioides ESTs provided evidence of ASFs for over 300 genes which represent almost 3.1% of the total genes detected. Although a majority of ASFs retain introns, we present evidence for a variety of alternative splice mechanisms including intra exon splice, one alternative site (either 3 or 5), and exon inclusion events. These results clearly show that alternative splicing in fungi is more common than previously thought and likely plays a significant role modifying gene function by increasing the diversity of available transcripts.