PlantAPAdb: A Comprehensive Database for Alternative Polyadenylation Sites in Plants

Alternative cleavage and polyadenylation (APA) is increasingly recognized as an important regulatory mechanism in eukaryotic gene expression and is dynamically modulated in a developmental, tissue-specific, or environmentally responsive manner. Given the functional importance of APA and the rapid accumulation of APA sites in plants, a comprehensive and easily accessible APA site database is necessary for improved understanding of APA-mediated gene expression regulation. We present a database called PlantAPAdb that catalogs the most comprehensive APA site data derived from sequences from diverse 3′ sequencing protocols and biological samples in plants. Currently, PlantAPAdb contains APA sites in six species, Oryza sativa (japonica and indica), Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana), Medicago truncatula, Trifolium pratense, Phyllostachys edulis, and Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. APA sites in PlantAPAdb are available for bulk download and can be queried in a Google-like manner. PlantAPAdb provides rich information of the whole-genome APA sites, including genomic locations, heterogeneous cleavage sites, expression levels, and sample information. It also provides comprehensive poly(A) signals for APA sites in different genomic regions according to distinct profiles of cis-elements in plants. In addition, PlantAPAdb contains events of 3′ untranslated region shortening/lengthening resulting from APA, which helps to understand the mechanisms underlying systematic changes in 3′ untranslated region lengths. Additional information about conservation of APA sites in plants is also available, providing insights into the evolutionary polyadenylation configuration across species. As a user-friendly database, PlantAPAdb is a large and extendable resource for elucidating APA mechanisms, APA conservation, and gene expression regulation.

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