Journal of Plant Research

, Volume 126, Issue 2, pp 305–320 | Cite as

Global transcriptomic profiling of aspen trees under elevated [CO2] to identify potential molecular mechanisms responsible for enhanced radial growth

Regular Paper


Aspen (Populus tremuloides) trees growing under elevated [CO2] at a free-air CO2 enrichment (FACE) site produced significantly more biomass than control trees. We investigated the molecular mechanisms underlying the observed increase in biomass by producing transcriptomic profiles of the vascular cambium zone (VCZ) and leaves, and then performed a comparative study to identify significantly changed genes and pathways after 12 years exposure to elevated [CO2]. In leaves, elevated [CO2] enhanced expression of genes related to Calvin cycle activity and linked pathways. In the VCZ, the pathways involved in cell growth, cell division, hormone metabolism, and secondary cell wall formation were altered while auxin conjugation, ABA synthesis, and cytokinin glucosylation and degradation were inhibited. Similarly, the genes involved in hemicellulose and pectin biosynthesis were enhanced, but some genes that catalyze important steps in lignin biosynthesis pathway were inhibited. Evidence from systemic analysis supported the functioning of multiple molecular mechanisms that underpin the enhanced radial growth in response to elevated [CO2].


Carbon dioxide Aspen Transcriptome Vascular cambium zone Leaves 

Supplementary material

10265_2012_524_MOESM1_ESM.docx (213 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 213 kb)


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Copyright information

© The Botanical Society of Japan and Springer Japan 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hairong Wei
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Jiqing Gou
    • 1
  • Yordan Yordanov
    • 1
  • Huaxin Zhang
    • 4
  • Ramesh Thakur
    • 1
  • Wendy Jones
    • 1
  • Andrew Burton
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Forest Resources and Environmental ScienceMichigan Technological UniversityHoughtonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Computer ScienceMichigan Technological UniversityHoughtonUSA
  3. 3.Biotechnology Research CenterMichigan Technological UniversityHoughtonUSA
  4. 4.Research Institute of ForestryChinese Academy of ForestryBeijingChina

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