Project Name Alternative splicing in the choanoflagellate M. bre 
Domain (1) eukarya
Investigators (1)
Institution University of California, Berkeley
Project Code CAM_PROJ_Bbre_splicing
Project Type eukaryotes
Publications (1)

Alternative splicing is a mechanism of eukaryotic gene regulation in which exons and introns are transcribed in different combinations, allowing one gene to encode many proteins. Alternative splicing is important in development and cell-cell signaling in plants and animals, but its prevalence and functional role in unicellular eukaryotes is not well understood. We are studying alternative splicing in the choanoflagellate Monosiga brevicollis. Choanoflagellates are aquatic microflagellates that are closely related to multicellular animals. The genome of Monosiga brevicollis revealed that its genes are intron-rich, raising the possibility that they are alternatively spliced.1 To detect alternative splicing, we have sequenced the transcriptome of Monosiga brevicollis using 454 high throughput sequencing. Additionally, to test if alternative splicing in Monosiga brevicollis is regulated in response to environmental stimuli, we also sequenced the transcriptome after UV-induced DNA damage. This data set allows us to detect alternative splicing events that are regulated in response to UV-induced DNA damage. This study will increase our understanding of the role of alternative splicing in unicellular eukaryotes and its evolution in animals.

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