Expression and splicing dynamics of WRKY family genes along physiological exigencies of tea plant (Camellia sinensis)

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Research Article

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Tea, the important cash crop and globally most consumed beverage, are precariously sensitive to the climatic conditions. Numerous biotic and abiotic stress challenges are upsetting their growth and quality to a severe extent in recent years. Alternative splicing is a leading molecular mechanism to increase the transcript diversity and regulate the gene expression to cope with stress injuries. Members of WRKY gene family play an essential role in safeguarding the plant during such biotic and abiotic hassles. This study aimed to explore the dynamics of splicing and differential expression in tea plant WRKY genes under diverse conditions. A total of 61 transcriptomes across different tissues and conditions were selected to identify the novel splicing event and expression profile within 80 WRKY genes of the tea plant. Almost half of the total WRKY genes differentially expressed and 37.5% genes are alternatively spliced across tissues and stress responses. Finally, TEA028167, TEA017542, TEA002467, TEA023777, and TEA008808 were elucidated to have most significant variations in expression and splicing along the physiological ascents. Functional consequences of the WRKY gene spliced variants are predicted to play an important role through compensation or competition with their corresponding full-length transcripts.

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