RNA-seq analyses of multiple meristems of soybean: Novel and alternative transcripts, evolutionary and functional implications

Lei Wang, Chenlong Cao, Qibin Ma, Qiaoying Zeng, Haifeng Wang, Zhihao Cheng, Genfeng Zhu, Ji Qi, Hong Ma, Hai Nian, Yingxiang Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

221 Scopus citations


Background: Soybean is one of the most important crops, providing large amounts of dietary proteins and edible oil, and is also an excellent model for studying evolution of duplicated genes. However, relative to the model plants Arabidopsis and rice, the present knowledge about soybean transcriptome is quite limited.Results: In this study, we employed RNA-seq to investigate transcriptomes of 11 soybean tissues, for genome-wide discovery of truly expressed genes, and novel and alternative transcripts, as well as analyses of conservation and divergence of duplicated genes and their functional implications. We detected a total of 54,132 high-confidence expressed genes, and identified 6,718 novel transcriptional regions with a mean length of 372 bp. We also provided strong evidence for alternative splicing (AS) events for ~15.9% of the genes with two or more exons. Among them, 1,834 genes exhibited stage-dependent AS, and 202 genes had tissue-biased exon-skipping events. We further defined the conservation and divergence in expression patterns between duplicated gene pairs from recent whole genome duplications (WGDs); differentially expressed genes, tissue preferentially expressed genes, transcription factors and specific gene family members were identified for shoot apical meristem and flower development.Conclusions: Our results significantly improved soybean gene annotation, and also provide valuable resources for functional genomics and studies of the evolution of duplicated genes from WGDs in soybean.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number169
JournalBMC plant biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 17 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Plant Science


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