Changes in gene expression in the wood-forming tissue of transgenic hybrid aspen with increased secondary growth
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Transgenic lines of hybrid aspen with elevated levels of gibberellin (GA) show greatly increased numbers of xylem fibres and increases in xylem fibre length. These plants therefore provide excellent models for studying secondary growth. We have used cDNA microarry analysis to investigate how gene transcription in the developing xylem is affected by GA-induced growth. A recent investigation has shown that genes encoding lignin and cellulose biosynthetic enzymes, as well as a number of transcription factors and other potential regulators of xylogenesis, are under developmental-stage-specific transcriptional control. The present study shows that the highest transcript changes in our transgenic trees occurs in genes generally restricted to the early stages of xylogenesis, including cell division, early expansion and late expansion. The results reveal genes among those arrayed that are up-regulated with an increased xylem production, thus indicating key components in the production of wood.
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