Publication: Global Genetic Robustness of the Alternative Splicing Machinery in Caenorhabditis elegans

Gepubliceerd op
27 september 2010

The transcripts of many eukaryotic genes can be processed into multiple different mRNAs through alternative splicing, a process that potentially has important regulatory consequences.

Here we studied to which extent alternative splicing patterns are varying in genetically diverse populations of the nematode worm C. elegans by measuring gene expression on tiling microarrays. Using 60 experimental genetic mosaics, we were able to detect 435 genes with substantial heritable variation in the gene expression, but only 22 transcripts with heritable variation in alternative splicing. Our results suggest that alternative splicing in C. elegans shows a substantial level of robustness, much larger than previously reported in humans.