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Genes 2017, 8(12), 359; doi:10.3390/genes8120359

Transcriptional and Hormonal Regulation of Weeping Trait in Salix matsudana

1
State Key Laboratory of Tree Genetics and Breeding, Key Laboratory of Tree Breeding and Cultivation of the State Forestry Administration, Research Institute of Forestry, Chinese Academy of Forestry, Beijing 100091, China
2
Collaborative Innovation Center of Sustainable Forestry in Southern China, Nanjing Forestry University, Nanjing 210037, China
3
Beijing Key Laboratory of Cloud Computing Key Technology and Application, Beijing Computing Center, Beijing 100094, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 24 October 2017 / Revised: 24 November 2017 / Accepted: 28 November 2017 / Published: 30 November 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Genetics and Genomics)
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Abstract

Salix matsudana is a large and rapidly-growing tree, with erect or spreading branchlets (upright willow). However, S. matsudana var. pseudomatsudana is one of the varietas, with pendulous branchlets (weeping willow). It has high ornamental value for its graceful pendulous branches. In order to study the molecular basis for this weeping trait, leaves and stems collected at different developmental stages were analyzed using RNA-seq coupled with digital gene expression. Although weeping trees are used worldwide as landscape plants, little is known about the genes that control weeping. Our growth results indicated that branches in weeping willow developed and elongated throughout all developmental stages, but branches in upright willow grew rapidly in the initial stages and then grew slowly and began shoot branching in the middle stages. A total of 613 hormone-related genes were differentially expressed in willow development. Among these, genes associated with auxin and gibberellin (GA) were highly likely to be responsible for the weeping trait, and genes associated with auxin and ethylene probably play crucial roles in shoot elongation. The genes with differential expression patterns were used to construct a network that regulated stem development, and auxin-related genes were identified as hub genes in the network in the weeping willow. Our results suggest an important role of gibberellin and auxin in regulating the weeping trait in Salix matsudana. This is the first report on the molecular aspects of hormonal effects on weeping trait in willow using transcriptomics and helps in dissecting the molecular mechanisms by which the weeping trait is controlled. View Full-Text
Keywords: phytohormone; gibberellin; auxin; weeping; transcription factor; Salix matsudana phytohormone; gibberellin; auxin; weeping; transcription factor; Salix matsudana
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Liu, J.; Zeng, Y.; Yan, P.; He, C.; Zhang, J. Transcriptional and Hormonal Regulation of Weeping Trait in Salix matsudana. Genes 2017, 8, 359.

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