Increased Alternative Splicing as a Host Response to Edwardsiella ictaluri Infection in Catfish

Suxu Tan, Wenwen Wang, Xiaoxiao Zhong, Changxu Tian, Donghong Niu, Lisui Bao, Tao Zhou, Yulin Jin, Yujia Yang, Zihao Yuan, Dongya Gao, Rex Dunham, Zhanjian "John" Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Alternative splicing is the process of generating multiple transcripts from a single pre-mRNA used by eukaryotes to regulate gene expression and increase proteomic complexity. Although alternative splicing profiles have been well studied in mammalian species, they have not been well studied in aquatic species, especially after biotic stresses. In the present study, genomic information and RNA-Seq datasets were utilized to characterize alternative splicing profiles and their induced changes after bacterial infection with Edwardsiella ictaluri in channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus). A total of 27,476 alternative splicing events, derived from 9694 genes, were identified in channel catfish. Exon skipping was the most abundant while mutually exclusive exon was the least abundant type of alternative splicing. Alternative splicing was greatly induced by E. ictaluri infection with 21.9% increase in alternative splicing events. Interestingly, genes involved in RNA binding and RNA splicing themselves were significantly enriched in differentially alternatively spliced genes after infection. Sequence analyses of splice variants of a representative alternatively spliced gene, splicing factor srsf2, revealed that certain spliced transcripts may undergo nonsense-mediated decay (NMD), suggesting functional significance of the induced alternative splicing. Although statistical analysis was not possible with such large datasets, results from quantitative real-time PCR from representative differential alternative splicing events provided general validation of the bacterial infection-induced alternative splicing. This is the first comprehensive study of alternative splicing and its changes in response to bacterial infection in fish species, providing insights into the molecular mechanisms of host responses to biotic stresses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalMarine Biotechnology
StateAccepted/In press - Jul 16 2018


  • Alternative splicing
  • Disease infection
  • Fish
  • Immune
  • RNA-Seq

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Aquatic Science

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