[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In the fully sequenced Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) genome, many gene models are annotated as "hypothetical protein," whose gene structures are predicted solely by computer algorithms with no support from either expressed sequence matches from Arabidopsis, or nucleic acid or protein homologs from other species. In order to confirm their existence and predicted gene structures, a high-throughput method of rapid amplification of cDNA ends (RACE) was used to obtain their cDNA sequences from 11 cDNA populations. Primers from all of the 797 hypothetical genes on chromosome 2 were designed, and, through 5' and 3' RACE, clones from 506 genes were sequenced and cDNA sequences from 399 target genes were recovered. The cDNA sequences were obtained by assembling their 5' and 3' RACE polymerase chain reaction products. These sequences revealed that (1) the structures of 151 hypothetical genes were different from their predictions; (2) 116 hypothetical genes had alternatively spliced transcripts and 187 genes displayed polyadenylation sites; and (3) there were transcripts arising from both strands, from the strand opposite to that of the prediction and possible dicistronic transcripts. Promoters from five randomly chosen hypothetical genes (At2g02540, At2g31270, At2g33640, At2g35550, and At2g36340) were cloned into report constructs, and their expressions are tissue or development stage specific. Our results indicate at least 50% of hypothetical genes on chromosome 2 are expressed in the cDNA populations with about 38% of the gene structures differing from their predictions. Thus, by using this targeted approach, high-throughput RACE, we revealed numerous transcripts including many uncharacterized variants from these hypothetical genes.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Through comparative studies of the model organism Arabidopsis thaliana and its close relative Brassica oleracea, we have identified conserved regions that represent potentially functional sequences overlooked by previous Arabidopsis genome annotation methods. A total of 454,274 whole genome shotgun sequences covering 283 Mb (0.44 x) of the estimated 650 Mb Brassica genome were searched against the Arabidopsis genome, and conserved Arabidopsis genome sequences (CAGSs) were identified. Of these 229,735 conserved regions, 167,357 fell within or intersected existing gene models, while 60,378 were located in previously unannotated regions. After removal of sequences matching known proteins, CAGSs that were close to one another were chained together as potentially comprising portions of the same functional unit. This resulted in 27,347 chains of which 15,686 were sufficiently distant from existing gene annotations to be considered a novel conserved unit. Of 192 conserved regions examined, 58 were found to be expressed in our cDNA populations. Rapid amplification of cDNA ends (RACE) was used to obtain potentially full-length transcripts from these 58 regions. The resulting sequences led to the creation of 21 gene models at 17 new Arabidopsis loci and the addition of splice variants or updates to another 19 gene structures. In addition, CAGSs overlapping already annotated genes in Arabidopsis can provide guidance for manual improvement of existing gene models. Published genome-wide expression data based on whole genome tiling arrays and massively parallel signature sequencing were overlaid on the Brassica-Arabidopsis conserved sequences, and 1399 regions of intersection were identified. Collectively our results and these data sets suggest that several thousand new Arabidopsis genes remain to be identified and annotated.
Genome Research 05/2005; 15(4):487-95. · 14.40 Impact Factor