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Tissue and regional expression patterns of dicistronic tRNA–mRNA transcripts in grapevine (Vitis vinifera) and their evolutionary co-appearance with vasculature in land plants

Authors
  • Fabres, Pastor Jullian1, 2
  • Anand, Lakshay2
  • Sai, Na1, 3
  • Pederson, Stephen4
  • Zheng, Fei1, 3
  • Stewart, Alexander A.2
  • Clements, Benjamin2
  • Lampugnani, Edwin R.5
  • Breen, James4
  • Gilliham, Matthew1, 3, 6
  • Tricker, Penny1
  • Rodríguez López, Carlos M.2
  • David, Rakesh1, 3
  • 1 School of Agriculture, Food and Wine, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, SA, Australia , Adelaide (Australia)
  • 2 Environmental Epigenetics and Genetics Group, Department of Horticulture, College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY, USA , Lexington (United States)
  • 3 ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Energy Biology, Waite Research Institute & School of Agriculture, Food and Wine, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, SA, Australia , Adelaide (Australia)
  • 4 Bioinformatics Hub, School of Biological Sciences, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, SA, Australia , Adelaide (Australia)
  • 5 School of Biosciences, University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC, 3010, Australia , Parkville (Australia)
  • 6 ARC Industrial Transformation Training Centre in Innovative Wine Production, Waite Research Institute & School of Agriculture, Food and Wine, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, SA, Australia , Adelaide (Australia)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Horticulture Research
Publisher
Nature Publishing Group UK
Publication Date
Jun 01, 2021
Volume
8
Issue
1
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1038/s41438-021-00572-5
Source
Springer Nature
License
Green

Abstract

Transfer RNAs (tRNA) are crucial adaptor molecules between messenger RNA (mRNA) and amino acids. Recent evidence in plants suggests that dicistronic tRNA-like structures also act as mobile signals for mRNA transcripts to move between distant tissues. Co-transcription is not a common feature in the plant nuclear genome and, in the few cases where polycistronic transcripts have been found, they include non-coding RNA species, such as small nucleolar RNAs and microRNAs. It is not known, however, the extent to which dicistronic transcripts of tRNA and mRNAs are expressed in field-grown plants, or the factors contributing to their expression. We analysed tRNA–mRNA dicistronic transcripts in the major horticultural crop grapevine (Vitis vinifera) using a novel pipeline developed to identify dicistronic transcripts from high-throughput RNA-sequencing data. We identified dicistronic tRNA–mRNA in leaf and berry samples from 22 commercial vineyards. Of the 124 tRNA genes that were expressed in both tissues, 18 tRNA were expressed forming part of 19 dicistronic tRNA–mRNAs. The presence and abundance of dicistronic molecules was tissue and geographic sub-region specific. In leaves, the expression patterns of dicistronic tRNA–mRNAs significantly correlated with tRNA expression, suggesting that their transcriptional regulation might be linked. We also found evidence of syntenic genomic arrangements of tRNAs and protein-coding genes between grapevine and Arabidopsis thaliana, and widespread prevalence of dicistronic tRNA–mRNA transcripts among vascular land plants but no evidence of these transcripts in non-vascular lineages. This suggests that the appearance of plant vasculature and tRNA–mRNA occurred concurrently during the evolution of land plants.

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