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Open AccessArticle

Wood Transcriptome Profiling Identifies Critical Pathway Genes of Secondary Wall Biosynthesis and Novel Regulators for Vascular Cambium Development in Populus

1
Department of Plant & Environmental New Resources, Kyung Hee University, Yongin 446-701, Korea
2
School of Life and Environmental Sciences, The University of Sydney, Camperdown, NSW 2006, Australia
3
Korea Forest Research Institute, Suwon 16631, Korea
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Genes 2019, 10(9), 690; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes10090690
Received: 21 August 2019 / Revised: 2 September 2019 / Accepted: 4 September 2019 / Published: 7 September 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Biology of Secondary Growth)
Wood, the most abundant biomass on Earth, is composed of secondary xylem differentiated from vascular cambium. However, the underlying molecular mechanisms of wood formation remain largely unclear. To gain insight into wood formation, we performed a series of wood-forming tissue-specific transcriptome analyses from a hybrid poplar (Populus alba × P. glandulosa, clone BH) using RNA-seq. Together with shoot apex and leaf tissue, cambium and xylem tissues were isolated from vertical stem segments representing a gradient of secondary growth developmental stages (i.e., immature, intermediate, and mature stem). In a comparative transcriptome analysis of the ‘developing xylem’ and ‘leaf’ tissue, we could identify critical players catalyzing each biosynthetic step of secondary wall components (e.g., cellulose, xylan, and lignin). Several candidate genes involved in the initiation of vascular cambium formation were found via a co-expression network analysis using abundantly expressed genes in the ‘intermediate stem-derived cambium’ tissue. We found that transgenic Arabidopsis plants overexpressing the PtrHAM4-1, a GRAS family transcription factor, resulted in a significant increase of vascular cambium development. This phenotype was successfully reproduced in the transgenic poplars overexpressing the PtrHAM4-1. Taken together, our results may serve as a springboard for further research to unravel the molecular mechanism of wood formation, one of the most important biological processes on this planet. View Full-Text
Keywords: poplar; Ptrham4-1; tissue-specific transcriptome; vascular cambium; wood formation poplar; Ptrham4-1; tissue-specific transcriptome; vascular cambium; wood formation
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Kim, M.-H.; Cho, J.-S.; Jeon, H.-W.; Sangsawang, K.; Shim, D.; Choi, Y.-I.; Park, E.-J.; Lee, H.; Ko, J.-H. Wood Transcriptome Profiling Identifies Critical Pathway Genes of Secondary Wall Biosynthesis and Novel Regulators for Vascular Cambium Development in Populus. Genes 2019, 10, 690.

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