Gene Expression during Growth and Maturation
The expression of cab and rbcS gene families were measured in RNA extracted from needles from larch trees ranging in age from 1 y to 75 y. Steady state cab mRNA levels are relatively higher (~40%) in newly expanding short shoot foliage from juvenile plants compared with mature plants. Later in the season no consistent difference in cab expression between juvenile and mature plants was detected. Unlike cab gene expression, the expression of the rbcS gene family did not seem to vary with age. These data show that the maturation-related changes in morphological and physiological phenotypes are associated with changes in gene expression. No causal relationship has been established, however. Indeed, we conclude that the faster growth of juvenile scions is not due to increased net photosynthesis or cab expression.
KeywordsBiomass Chlorophyll Carbohydrate Assure Photosynthesis
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