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Nanopore direct RNA sequencing maps an Arabidopsis N6 methyladenosine epitranscriptome


Date: 17th July 2019 | Source: BioRxiv

Authors: Gordon Grant Simpson, Geoffrey John Barton, Matthew T Parker, Anna V Sherwood, Katarzyna Knop, Nicholas J E Schurch, Katarzyna Mackinnon, Peter D Gould, Anthony JW Hall.

Understanding genome organization and gene regulation requires insight into RNA transcription, processing and modification. We adapted nanopore direct RNA sequencing to examine RNA from a wild-type accession of the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana and a mutant defective in mRNA methylation (m6A). Here we show that m6A can be mapped in full-length mRNAs transcriptome-wide and reveal the combinatorial diversity of cap-associated transcription start sites, splicing events, poly(A) site choice and poly(A) tail length. Loss of m6A from 3′ untranslated regions is associated with decreased relative transcript abundance and defective RNA 3′ end formation. A functional consequence of disrupted m6A is a lengthening of the circadian period. We conclude that nanopore direct RNA sequencing can reveal the complexity of mRNA processing and modification in full-length single molecule reads. These findings can refine Arabidopsis genome annotation. Further, applying this approach to less well-studied species could transform our understanding of what their genomes encode.

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