Abiotic stresses profoundly affect plant growth and development and limit crop productivity. Pre-mRNA splicing is a major form of gene regulation that helps plants cope with various stresses. Serine/arginine (SR)-rich splicing factors play a key role in pre-mRNA splicing to regulate different biological processes under stress conditions. Alternative splicing (AS) of SR transcripts and other transcripts of stress-responsive genes generates multiple splice isoforms that contribute to protein diversity, modulate gene expression, and affect plant stress tolerance. Here, we investigated the function of the plant-specific SR protein RS33 in regulating pre-mRNA splicing and abiotic stress responses in rice. The loss-of-function mutant rs33 showed increased sensitivity to salt and low-temperature stresses. Genome-wide analyses of gene expression and splicing in wild-type and rs33 seedlings subjected to these stresses identified multiple splice isoforms of stress-responsive genes whose AS are regulated by RS33. The number of RS33-regulated genes was much higher under low-temperature stress than under salt stress. Our results suggest that the plant-specific splicing factor RS33 plays a crucial role during plant responses to abiotic stresses.
Bibliographical noteKAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2022-06-13
Acknowledgements: This work was funded by KAUST baseline funding to Magdy Mahfouz and by the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative competitive grant (2019-67013-29239) of the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture to Anireddy S. N. Reddy. We would like to thank the members of the genome engineering and synthetic biology laboratory at KAUST for their critical discussion and technical help in this work.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)