High throughput characterizations of poly(A) site choice in plants

Methods. 2014 May 1;67(1):74-83. doi: 10.1016/j.ymeth.2013.06.037. Epub 2013 Jul 11.


The polyadenylation of mRNA in eukaryotes is an important biological process. In recent years, significant progress has been made in the field of mRNA polyadenylation owing to the advent of the next generation DNA sequencing technologies. The high-throughput sequencing capabilities have resulted in the direct experimental determinations of large numbers of polyadenylation sites, analysis of which has revealed a vast potential for the regulation of gene expression in eukaryotes. These collections have been generated using specialized sequencing methods that are targeted to the junction of 3'-UTR and the poly(A) tail. Here we present three variations of such a protocol that has been used for the analysis of alternative polyadenylation in plants. While all these methods use oligo-dT as an anchor to the 3'-end, they differ in the means of generating an anchor for the 5'-end in order to produce PCR products suitable for effective Illumina sequencing; the use of different methods to append 5' adapters expands the possible utility of these approaches. These methods are versatile, reproducible, and may be used for gene expression analysis as well as global determinations of poly(A) site choice.

Keywords: Alternative polyadenylation; Gene expression; High throughput sequencing.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis / genetics*
  • Arabidopsis / metabolism
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / genetics
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / metabolism
  • Base Sequence
  • DNA, Complementary / genetics
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing
  • Plant Leaves / genetics
  • Plant Leaves / metabolism
  • Polyadenylation*
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics*
  • RNA, Messenger / isolation & purification
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • RNA, Plant / genetics*
  • RNA, Plant / isolation & purification
  • RNA, Plant / metabolism
  • Seeds / genetics
  • Seeds / metabolism


  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • DNA, Complementary
  • RNA, Messenger
  • RNA, Plant