To date, several transcriptomic studies during fruit development have been reported; however, no comprehensive integrated study on expression diversity, alternative splicing, and metabolomic profiling was reported in Capsicum. This study analyzed RNA-seq data and untargeted metabolomic profiling from early green (EG), mature green (MG), and breaker (Br) fruit stages from two Capsicum species, i.e., C. annuum (Cann) and C. frutescens (Cfrut) from Northeast India. A total of 117,416 and 96,802 alternatively spliced events (AltSpli-events) were identified from Cann and Cfrut, respectively. Among AltSpli-events, intron retention (IR; 32.2% Cann and 25.75% Cfrut) followed by alternative acceptor (AA; 15.4% Cann and 18.9% Cfrut) were the most abundant in Capsicum. Around 7600 genes expressed in at least one fruit stage of Cann and Cfrut were AltSpli. The study identified spliced variants of genes including transcription factors (TFs) potentially involved in fruit development/ripening (Aux/IAA 16-like, ETR, SGR1, ARF, CaGLK2, ETR, CaAGL1, MADS-RIN, FUL1, SEPALLATA1), carotenoid (PDS, CA1, CCD4, NCED3, xanthoxin dehydrogenase, CaERF82, CabHLH100, CaMYB3R-1, SGR1, CaWRKY28, CaWRKY48, CaWRKY54), and capsaicinoids or flavonoid biosynthesis (CaMYB48, CaWRKY51), which were significantly differentially spliced (DS) between consecutive Capsicum fruit stages. Also, this study observed that differentially expressed isoforms (DEiso) from 38 genes with differentially spliced events (DSE) were significantly enriched in various metabolic pathways such as starch and sucrose metabolism, amino acid metabolism, cysteine cutin suberin and wax biosynthesis, and carotenoid biosynthesis. Furthermore, the metabolomic profiling revealed that metabolites from aforementioned pathways such as carbohydrates (mainly sugars such as D-fructose, D-galactose, maltose, and sucrose), organic acids (carboxylic acids), and peptide groups significantly altered during fruit development. Taken together, our findings could help in alternative splicing-based targeted studies of candidate genes involved in fruit development and ripening in Capsicum crop.
Keywords: Alternative splicing; Breaker; C. annuum; C. frutescens; Early green; Fruit; Isoforms; Mature green; Metabolites.
© 2022. The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature.