RNA-sequencing (RNA-seq) allows global gene expression analysis at the individual transcript level. Accurate quantification of transcript variants generated by alternative splicing (AS) remains a challenge. We have developed a comprehensive, nonredundant Arabidopsis reference transcript dataset (AtRTD) containing over 74 000 transcripts for use with algorithms to quantify AS transcript isoforms in RNA-seq. The AtRTD was formed by merging transcripts from TAIR10 and novel transcripts identified in an AS discovery project. We have estimated transcript abundance in RNA-seq data using the transcriptome-based alignment-free programmes Sailfish and Salmon and have validated quantification of splicing ratios from RNA-seq by high resolution reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (HR RT-PCR). Good correlations between splicing ratios from RNA-seq and HR RT-PCR were obtained demonstrating the accuracy of abundances calculated for individual transcripts in RNA-seq. The AtRTD is a resource that will have immediate utility in analysing Arabidopsis RNA-seq data to quantify differential transcript abundance and expression.
Keywords: Arabidopsis thaliana; RNA-sequencing (RNA-seq); Sailfish; Salmon; alternative splicing; high resolution reverse transcription (HR RT)-PCR; transcripts per million.
© 2015 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2015 New Phytologist Trust.