Full Length Transcriptome Highlights the Coordination of Plastid Transcript Processing

Journal article


Plastid gene expression involves many post-transcriptional maturation steps resulting in a complex transcriptome composed of multiple isoforms. Although short-read RNA-Seq has considerably improved our understanding of the molecular mechanisms controlling these processes, it is unable to sequence full-length transcripts. This information is crucial, however, when it comes to understanding the interplay between the various steps of plastid gene expression. Here, we describe a protocol to study the plastid transcriptome using nanopore sequencing. In the leaf of Arabidopsis thaliana, with about 1.5 million strand-specific reads mapped to the chloroplast genome, we could recapitulate most of the complexity of the plastid transcriptome (polygenic transcripts, multiple isoforms associated with post-transcriptional processing) using virtual Northern blots. Even if the transcripts longer than about 2500 nucleotides were missing, the study of the co-occurrence of editing and splicing events identified 42 pairs of events that were not occurring independently. This study also highlighted a preferential chronology of maturation events with splicing happening after most sites were edited.