Alternative splicing diversifies the transcriptome and proteome of the rice blast fungus during host infection

Jongbum Jeon, Ki Tae Kim, Jaeyoung Choi, Kyeongchae Cheong, Jaeho Ko, Gobong Choi, Hyunjun Lee, Gir Won Lee, Sook Young Park, Seongbeom Kim, Sun Tae Kim, Cheol Woo Min, Seogchan Kang, Yong Hwan Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Alternative splicing (AS) contributes to diversifying and regulating cellular responses to environmental conditions and developmental cues by differentially producing multiple mRNA and protein isoforms from a single gene. Previous studies on AS in pathogenic fungi focused on profiling AS isoforms under a limited number of conditions. We analysed AS profiles in the rice blast fungus Magnaporthe oryzae, a global threat to rice production, using high-quality transcriptome data representing its vegetative growth (mycelia) and multiple host infection stages. We identified 4,270 AS isoforms derived from 2,413 genes, including 499 genes presumably regulated by infection-specific AS. AS appears to increase during infection, with 32.7% of the AS isoforms being produced during infection but absent in mycelia. Analysis of the isoforms observed at each infection stage showed that 636 AS isoforms were more abundant than corresponding annotated mRNAs, especially after initial hyphal penetration into host cell. Many such dominant isoforms were predicted to encode regulatory proteins such as transcription factors and phospho-transferases. We also identified the genes encoding distinct proteins via AS and confirmed the translation of some isoforms via a proteomic analysis, suggesting potential AS-mediated neo-functionalization of some genes during infection. Comprehensive profiling of the pattern of genome-wide AS during multiple stages of rice-M. oryzae interaction established a foundational resource that will help investigate the role and regulation of AS during rice infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)373-385
Number of pages13
JournalRNA Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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