Tree Genetics & Genomes

, Volume 4, Issue 3, pp 419–433 | Cite as

An EST database for Liriodendron tulipifera L. floral buds: the first EST resource for functional and comparative genomics in Liriodendron

  • Haiying Liang
  • John E. CarlsonEmail author
  • James H. Leebens-Mack
  • P. Kerr Wall
  • Lukas A. Mueller
  • Matyas Buzgo
  • Lena L. Landherr
  • Yi Hu
  • D. Scott DiLoreto
  • Daniel C. Ilut
  • Dawn Field
  • Steven D. Tanksley
  • Hong Ma
  • Claude W. dePamphilis
Original Paper


Liriodendron tulipifera L. was selected by the Floral Genome Project for identification of new genes related to floral diversity in basal angiosperms. A large, non-normalized cDNA library was constructed from premeiotic and meiotic floral buds and sequenced to generate a database of 9,531 high-quality expressed sequence tags. These sequences clustered into 6,520 unigenes, of which 5,251 were singletons, and 1,269 were in contigs. Homologs of genes regulating many aspects of flower development were identified, including those for organ identity and development, cell and tissue differentiation, and cell-cycle control. Almost 5% of the transcriptome consisted of homologs to known floral gene families. Homologs of most of the genes involved in cell-wall construction were also recovered. This provides a new opportunity for comparative studies in lignin biosynthesis, a trait of key importance in the evolution of land plants and in the utilization of fiber from economically important tree species, such as Liriodendron. Also of note is that 1,089 unigenes did not match any sequence in the public databases, including the complete genomes of Arabidopsis, rice, and Populus. Some of these novel genes might be unique in basal angiosperm species and, when better characterized, may be informative for understanding the origins of diverged gene families. Thus, the Liriodendron expressed sequence tag database and library will help bridge our understanding of the mechanisms of flower initiation and development that are shared among basal angiosperms, eudicots, and monocots, and provide new opportunities for comparative analysis of gene families across angiosperm species.


EST database Flower development Liriodendron tulipifera Magnoliaceae Basal angiosperm 



Applied Biosystems




base pairs




Elongation Factor 1-alpha gene


expressed sequence tag


Gene Ontology Consortium


rate of synonymous substitutions


myeloblastosis-like gene


polymerase chain reaction


rolling-circle amplification



We thank David Oppenheimer and his lab for guidance on the in situ hybridization experiments. We thank the tree-improvement field crew at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville for collecting, freezing, and shipping the tissue samples used for RNA extraction. We thank Sheila Plock for assistance with manipulations and curation of the cDNA library, and Marlin Druckenmiller in the Schatz Center for Tree Molecular Genetics at Penn State for assistance in high throughput sequencing. The Floral Genome Project was supported by a grant to C. dePamphilis and co-PIs from the NSF Plant Genome Research Program (DBI-0115684). Dr. Liang was supported by a post-doctoral fellowship from The Schatz Center for Tree Molecular Genetics.

Supplementary material

11295_2007_120_MOESM1_ESM.doc (5.6 mb)
Table S1 The annotations for the strongest BLASTx alignments from GenBank to the 4468 Ltu01 unigenes for matches with similarity (e) values <1e-5) (DOC 5.57 Mb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Haiying Liang
    • 1
    • 6
  • John E. Carlson
    • 1
    Email author
  • James H. Leebens-Mack
    • 2
    • 7
  • P. Kerr Wall
    • 2
  • Lukas A. Mueller
    • 3
  • Matyas Buzgo
    • 4
    • 8
  • Lena L. Landherr
    • 2
  • Yi Hu
    • 2
  • D. Scott DiLoreto
    • 1
  • Daniel C. Ilut
    • 3
  • Dawn Field
    • 5
  • Steven D. Tanksley
    • 3
  • Hong Ma
    • 2
  • Claude W. dePamphilis
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Forest Resources, the Huck Institutes of the Life SciencesPennsylvania State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA
  2. 2.Department of Biology, the Huck Institutes of the Life SciencesPennsylvania State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA
  3. 3.Department of Plant BreedingCornell UniversityIthacaUSA
  4. 4.Department of BotanyUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA
  5. 5.Oxford Centre for Ecology and HydrologyOxfordUK
  6. 6.Department of Genetics and BiochemistryClemson UniversityClemsonUSA
  7. 7.Department of Plant BiologyUniversity of GeorgiaAthensUSA
  8. 8.Department of BiologyUniversity of Louisiana in ShreveportShreveportUSA

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