3 years ago

Transcriptomic insights into the alternative splicing-mediated adaptation of the entomopathogenic fungus Beauveria bassiana to host niches: autophagy-related gene 8 as an example

Sheng-Hua Ying, Jin-Li Ding, Yue-Jin Peng, Yang Gao, Ming-Guang Feng, Wei-Xia Dong
Alternative splicing (AS) regulates various biological processes in fungi by extending the cellular proteome. However, comprehensive studies investigating AS in entomopathogenic fungi are lacking. Based on transcriptome data obtained via dual RNA-seq, the first overview of AS events was developed for Beauveria bassiana growing in an insect haemocoel. The AS was demonstrated for 556 of 8840 expressed genes, accounting for 5.4% of the total genes in B. bassiana. Intron retention was the most abundant type of AS, accounting for 87.1% of all splicing events and exon skipping events were rare, only accounting for 2.0% of all events. Functional distribution analysis indicated an association between alternatively spliced genes and several physiological processes. Notably, B. bassiana autophagy-related gene 8 (BbATG8), an indispensable gene for autophagy, was spliced at an alternative 5′ splice site to generate two transcripts (BbATG8-α and BbATG8-β). The BbATG8-α transcript was necessary for fungal autophagy and oxidation tolerance, while the BbATG8-β transcript was not. These two transcripts differentially contributed to the formation of conidia or blastospores as well as fungal virulence. Thus, AS acts as a powerful post-transcriptional regulatory strategy in insect mycopathogens and significantly mediates fungal transcriptional adaption to host niches.

Publisher URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/doi

DOI: 10.1111/1462-2920.13862

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