The time-resolved transcriptome of C. Elegans

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We generated detailed RNA-seq data for the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans with high temporal resolution in the embryo as well as representative samples from post-embryonic stages across the life cycle. The data reveal that early and late embryogenesis is accompanied by large numbers of genes changing expression, whereas fewer genes are changing in mid-embryogenesis. This lull in genes changing expression correlates with a period during which histone mRNAs produce almost 40% of the RNA-seq reads. We find evidence for many more splice junctions than are annotated in WormBase, with many of these suggesting alternative splice forms, often with differential usage over the life cycle. We annotated internal promoter usage in operons using SL1 and SL2 data. We also uncovered correlated transcriptional programs that span >80 kb. These data provide detailed annotation of the C. Elegans transcriptome.

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