Table_1_Expression Landscape of circRNAs in Arabidopsis thaliana Seedlings and Adult Tissues.xlsx
RNA-seq is currently the only method that can provide a comprehensive landscape of circular RNA (circRNAs) in the whole organism and its particular organs. Recent years have brought an increasing number of RNA-seq-based reports on plant circRNAs. Notably, the picture they revealed is questionable and depends on the applied circRNA identification and quantification techniques. In consequence, little is known about the biogenesis and functions of circRNAs in plants. In this work, we tested two experimental and six bioinformatics procedures of circRNA analysis to determine the optimal approach for studying the profiles of circRNAs in Arabidopsis thaliana. Then using the optimized strategy, we determined the accumulation of circular and corresponding linear transcripts in plant seedlings and organs. We observed that only a small fraction of circRNAs was reproducibly generated. Among them, two groups of circRNAs were discovered: ubiquitous and organ-specific. The highest number of circRNAs with significantly increased accumulation in comparison to other organs/seedlings was found in roots. The circRNAs in seedlings, leaves and flowers originated mainly from genes involved in photosynthesis and the response to stimulus. The levels of circular and linear transcripts were not correlated. Although RNase R treatment enriches the analyzed RNA samples in circular transcripts, it may also have a negative impact on the stability of some of the circRNAs. We also showed that the normalization of NGS data by the library size is not proper for circRNAs quantification. Alternatively, we proposed four other normalization types whose accuracy was confirmed by ddPCR. Moreover, we provided a comprehensive characterization of circRNAs in A. thaliana organs and in seedlings. Our analyses revealed that plant circRNAs are formed in both stochastic and controlled processes. The latter are less frequent and likely engage circRNA-specific mechanisms. Only a few circRNAs were organ-specific. The lack of correlation between the accumulation of linear and circular transcripts indicated that their biogenesis depends on different mechanisms.