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Araport11: a complete reannotation of the Arabidopsis thaliana reference genome

By Chia-Yi Cheng, Vivek Krishnakumar, Agnes Chan, Seth Schobel, Christopher D. Town

Posted 05 Apr 2016
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/047308 (published DOI: 10.1111/tpj.13415)

The flowering plant Arabidopsis thaliana is a dicot model organism for research in many aspects of plant biology. A comprehensive annotation of its genome paves the way for understanding the functions and activities of all types of transcripts, including mRNA, noncoding RNA, and small RNA. The most recent annotation update (TAIR10) released more than five years ago had a profound impact on Arabidopsis research. Maintaining the accuracy of the annotation continues to be a prerequisite for future progress. Using an integrative annotation pipeline, we assembled tissue-specific RNA-seq libraries from 113 datasets and constructed 48,359 transcript models of protein-coding genes in eleven tissues. In addition, we annotated various classes of noncoding RNA including small RNA, long intergenic RNA, small nucleolar RNA, natural antisense transcript, small nuclear RNA, and microRNA using published datasets and in-house analytic results. Altogether, we identified 738 novel protein-coding genes, 508 novel transcribed regions, 5,051 non-coding genes, and 35,846 small-RNA loci that formerly eluded annotation. Analysis on the splicing events and RNA-seq based expression profile revealed the landscapes of gene structures, untranslated regions, and splicing activities to be more intricate than previously appreciated. We also present 692 uniformly expressed housekeeping genes, 43% of whose human orthologs are also housekeeping genes. This updated Arabidopsis genome annotation with a substantially increased resolution of gene models will not only further our understanding of the biological processes of this plant model but also of other species.

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