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Bioenergy: Genetics of wood formation

Date:
April 17, 2015
Source:
Department of Energy, Office of Science
Summary:
To begin to understand poplar growth, a possible bioenergy crop, scientists built a robust high-throughput pipeline for studying the hierarchy of genetic regulation of wood formation using tissue-specific single cells called protoplasts.
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FULL STORY

To begin to understand the complex genetic interactions that control poplar growth, a potential bioenergy crop, researchers developed a robust high-throughput pipeline for studying the hierarchy of genetic regulation of wood formation using tissue-specific single cells known as protoplasts.

The Impact

This approach will be particularly useful in studying complex processes in plant species that lack mutants and stable transformation systems. It also can be used to improve forest tree productivity with more precise genetic approaches.

Summary

Wood is an important renewable material for bioenergy and other industrial products, but its formation, a complex process regulated at many levels, is poorly understood. Such processes often involve interactions between regulatory genes known as transcription factors (TFs) and their direct DNA targets. These TF-DNA interactions constitute a regulatory hierarchy. The new method for isolating protoplasts from the wood-forming stem differentiating xylem tissues of poplar was developed by researchers at North Carolina State University with funding from the U.S. Department of Energy Genomic Science program. The team used the method to study the expression of a specific poplar TF affecting wood formation. By integrating this novel system with computational approaches, a hierarchical layer of genes was inferred that was functionally validated in the wood-forming stem differentiating xylem. The new approach aids understanding hierarchical gene regulatory networks directed by TFs in poplar and other plant species where mutants are not available.


Story Source:

Materials provided by Department of Energy, Office of Science. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Y.-C. Lin, W. Li, Y.-H. Sun, S. Kumari, H. Wei, Q. Li, S. Tunlaya-Anukit, R. R. Sederoff, V. L. Chiang. SND1 Transcription Factor-Directed Quantitative Functional Hierarchical Genetic Regulatory Network in Wood Formation in Populus trichocarpa. The Plant Cell, 2013; 25 (11): 4324 DOI: 10.1105/tpc.113.117697

Cite This Page:

Department of Energy, Office of Science. "Bioenergy: Genetics of wood formation." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 April 2015. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/04/150417085025.htm>.
Department of Energy, Office of Science. (2015, April 17). Bioenergy: Genetics of wood formation. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 23, 2017 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/04/150417085025.htm
Department of Energy, Office of Science. "Bioenergy: Genetics of wood formation." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/04/150417085025.htm (accessed May 23, 2017).

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