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Patterns of alternative splicing in response to cold acclimation in fish

TitlePatterns of alternative splicing in response to cold acclimation in fish
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsHealy T.M, Schulte P.M
JournalJournal of Experimental Biology
Date Published2019/03
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number0022-0949
Accession NumberWOS:000461414600017
Keywordsadaptation; Differential exon usage; differential expression; gene-expression; heat-stress; Killifish; Life Sciences & Biomedicine - Other Topics; phenotypic plasticity; protein; reveals; Stickleback; temperature; temperature-acclimation; thermal-acclimation; transcriptome; zebrafish

Phenotypic plasticity is an important aspect of an organism's response to environmental change that often requires the modulation of gene expression. These changes in gene expression can be quantitative, as a result of increases or decreases in the amounts of specific transcripts, or qualitative, as a result of the expression of alternative transcripts from the same gene (e.g. via alternative splicing of pre-mRNAs). Although the role of quantitative changes in gene expression in phenotypic plasticity is well known, relatively few studies have examined the role of qualitative changes. Here, we use skeletalmuscle RNA-seq data from Atlantic killifish (Fundulus heteroclitus), threespine stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus) and zebrafish (Danio rerio) to investigate the extent of qualitative changes in gene expression in response to cold acclimation. Fewer genes demonstrated alternative splicing than differential expression as a result of cold acclimation; however, differences in splicing were detected for 426 to 866 genes depending on species, indicating that large numbers of qualitative changes in gene expression are associated with cold acclimation. Many of these alternatively spliced genes were also differentially expressed, and there was functional enrichment for involvement in muscle contraction among the genes demonstrating qualitative changes in response to cold acclimation. Additionally, there was a common group of 29 genes with cold-acclimation-mediated changes in splicing in all three species, suggesting that there may be a set of genes with expression patterns that respond qualitatively to prolonged exposure to cold temperatures across fishes.

Short TitleJ. Exp. Biol.
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