Acute effects of light on alternative splicing in light-grown plants

Estefania Mancini, Sabrina E. Sanchez, Andres Romanowski, Ruben G. Schlaen, Maximiliano Sanchez-Lamas, Pablo D. Cerdan, Marcelo J. Yanovsky*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Light modulates plant growth and development to a great extent by regulating gene expression programs. Here, we evaluated the effect of light on alternative splicing (AS) in light-grown Arabidopsis thaliana plants using high-throughput RNA sequencing (RNA-seq). We found that an acute light pulse given in the middle of the night, a treatment that simulates photoperiod lengthening, affected AS events corresponding to 382 genes. Some of these AS events were associated with genes involved in primary metabolism and stress responses, which may help to adjust metabolic and physiological responses to seasonal changes. We also found that several core clock genes showed changes in AS in response to the light treatment, suggesting that light regulation of AS may play a role in clock entrainment. Finally, we found that many light-regulated AS events were associated with genes encoding RNA processing proteins and splicing factors, supporting the idea that light regulates this posttranscriptional regulatory layer through AS regulation of splicing factors. Interestingly, the effect of a red-light pulse on AS of a gene encoding a splicing factor was not impaired in a quintuple phytochrome mutant, providing unequivocal evidence that nonphotosensory photoreceptors control AS in light-grown plants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)126-133
Number of pages8
JournalPhotochemistry and photobiology
Issue number1
Early online date17 Nov 2015
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 17 Nov 2015


  • gene-expression
  • arabidopsis photomorphogenesis
  • signaling networks
  • phytochrome b
  • rna-seq
  • translation
  • responses
  • thaliana
  • clock
  • core


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