Circular RNAs (circRNAs) are a class of non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) that are involved in transcriptional and posttranscriptional gene expression regulation. Typical circular RNA molecules comprise canonically spliced exonic sequences and are covalently closed. They have recently been shown to be expressed in eukaryotes (Salzman et al. 2012, Jeck et al. 2013, Memczak et al. 2013, Salzman et al. 2013), including plants (Wang et al. 2014, Ye et al. 2015, Lu et al. 2015).

    In PlantcircBase (http://ibi.zju.edu.cn/plantcircbase/), we collected publicly available back-splice junction sequences and their full-length sequences of circRNAs identified in plants by us and other groups. Based on the collected circRNAs, we further predicted those circRNAs putatively acting as miRNA sponges and their potential networks involving circRNA-miRNA-mRNA in the corresponding species. In the database, you can find plant circRNAs and their related information, such as their sequences, host genes, expression, experimental validation as well as bioinformatics tools such as BLASTcirc (Zhang et al. 2017) for searching and visualizing circRNAs. Detail release information could be found here.


In the Browse Page, all entries in PlanrcircBase are being listed. You can browse circRNAs by oaganisams, chromosomes, validation information or type of circRNAs.

You can search circRNAs in PlantcircBase by three methods. First is by keywords. ID, parent gene names or miRNA names are all available for searching corresponding circRNAs. Second is conditional search. You can search a set of circRNAs by submitting organism, chromosome or valided information. Third is sequences search. You can input a sequence or several sequences to find if it is/they are match to the circRNA genomic sequences in PlantcircBase. In this part, organisms could be chose and E-value could be reset by users.

Detail information of en entry

For each entry in PlantcircBase, a list of items have been displayed. The table following describes the detail meaning of each item.

circRNA IDID of circRNA in PlantcircBase. It is made up of three parts, species_RNA type_number of the circRNA. For the example of osa_circ_034078, "osa" is short for Oryza sativa; "circ" represents circRNA; "034078" represents the number of the circRNA in PlantcircBase.
AliasName of the circRNA used in other papers.
OrganismThe organism from which the circRNA was identified.
PositionThe exact genomic position of the circRNA, including chromosome, start site and end site (1-based).
Reference genomeThe version of the reference genome used in PlantcircBase.
TypeType of circRNA based on its genomic origin, e.g. exonic, intronic and intergenic.
Parent geneThe host gene from which the circRNA is derived.
Parent gene annotationThe annotation of the host gene based on the genome version used in PlantcircBase.
StrandThe strand on which the host gene resides.
Alternative splicingIn this study, circRNAs with overlapping sequences are considered as alternatively spliced isoforms. In Arabidopsis thaliana, if the length of circRNA is larger than 1000bp, alternative splicing circRNAs won't be presented here beause of the large number of alternative splicing circRNAs.
Splice junction sequenceSequences showing in upper and lower cases represent the two sides of a back-splicing site.
Support readsThe total number of reads that support the junction of the circRNA. The supporting reads in different tissues (experiments) are separated by "/".
TissuesIndicating the tissue from which the circRNA was identified. Tissues used in different experiments were separated by "/" based on the order of supporting reads showing in the previous item.
Exon boundaryIt shows whether the splicing sites are on the boundary of exons or not. For example, "Yes-No" represents the donor splicing site is on the exon boundary and the accepter is not on the exon boundary.
Splicing signalsThe splicing signals of the circRNA. For example, "AG-GT" represents that the donor and the accepter splicing signal is "AG" and "GT", respectively.
Evidence 1: Sanger sequencing"Yes" represents Sanger sequencing has been performed to valid the back-splicing site, "No" represents the opposite, "NA" represents "not available".
Evidence 1: PCR primersPCR primers (including convergent and divergent primers) used in back-splicing validation.
circRNA sequence (assembly)The sequence of a circRNA based on assembly using circseq-cup (Ye et al., 2016) or Sanger sequencing.
Number of exons covered1The number of exons that cover the assembly circRNA sequence.
Evidence 2: Sanger sequencing"Yes" represents Sanger sequencing has been performed to valid the full length of circRNA, "No" represents the opposite.
Evidence 2: PCR primersPCR primers used in validation of the full length circRNA.
Genomic sequenceGenomic sequence of the circRNA. If the length of genomic sequence is over than 20kb, the sequence won't be presented here.
Number of exons covered2The number of exons that cover the genomic sequence of the circRNA.
Conserved circRNAsConserved circRNAs in other plants based on their back-splicing sequence similarity and parent genes.
Sponge-miRNAmiRNAs that are predicted to bind the circRNA (in other words, the circRNA acts as a potential miRNA sponge). Only the top three miRNAs of a circRNA are listed here if more than three are predicted.
Sponge-miRNA-mRNAThe target mRNAs of the miRNA listed in the item "Sponge-miRNA". Only the top three target mRNAs are shown if more than three are predicted.
ReferenceThe study in which the circRNA was first reported.

    There are still some pionts should be paid attention to:
    (1) For the condition that we didn't collect or generate the exact information of some items listed above, "NA" will be used, which means "not available".
    (2) Some genomic sequences of circRNA is quite long (over 20kb). For these circRNAs, genomic sequence are not presented.
    (3) The genome version of each organism that used to predict target mRNAs of miRNAs are: transcript, MSU Rice Genome Annotation, version 7 (Oryza sativa), transcript, TAIR 10 (Arabidopsis thaliana), transcript, AGPv3.22 (Zea mays), transcript, v2.4 (Solanum lycopersicum ), unigene, DFCI Gene Index (HVGI), version 12 (Hordeum vulgare), respectively.


By inputing the organism, chromosome, start site and end site, all circRNAs in the database (as well as unknown circRNAs with poaition information) can be visualized in a "circular format" or a "linear format" based on the genomic sequences with annotation. Different genomic components (CDS, intron, exon and UTR) are color coded. In the left figure, the line with arrow represents the direction of transcripts. The vertical line with two numbers represents the back-splicing site of the circRNA. In the right figure, the grey area represents the exact position of the circRNA within its parent gene.

    For the two pictures above, the left is in "circular format" and the right is in "linear format" of the circRNA whose position is from 3768053 to 3768717 on the 5th chromosome of Oryza sativa.


In PlantcircBase, the predicting tool can be used to predict whether or not a query sequence forms a circRNA. After submitting the query sequences, the datailed predict results will be displayed, including "Summary of BLASTN results", "Back-splicing sites information", and the visualization of the corresponding circRNA. Following is the result of an example prediction.


If you want to submit new circRNAs in plants to PlantcircBase, please contact us bioinplant@zju.edu.cn

About us

Institute of Crop Sciences / Institute of Bioinformatics, Zhejiang University. E-mail: bioinplant@zju.edu.cn .


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Copyright©2017 Institute of Crop Sciences / Institute of Bioinformatics, Zhejiang University.
Last modified at 2017-12-22. Any questions or suggestions, please contact the Fan's lab, bioinplant@zju.edu.cn