Insights of Molecular Mechanism of Xylem Development in Five Black Poplar Cultivars.
ABSTRACT: Black poplar (Populus deltoides, P. nigra, and their hybrids) is the main poplar cultivars in China. It offers interesting options of large-scale biomass production for bioenergy due to its rapid growth and high yield. Poplar wood properties were associated with chemical components and physical structures during wood formation. In this study, five poplar cultivars, P. euramericana 'Zhonglin46' (Pe1), P. euramericana 'Guariento' (Pe2), P. nigra 'N179' (Pn1), P. deltoides 'Danhong' (Pd1), and P. deltoides 'Nanyang' (Pd2), were used to explore the molecular mechanism of xylem development. We analyzed the structural differences of developing xylem in the five cultivars and profiled the transcriptome-wide gene expression patterns through RNA sequencing. The cross sections of the developing xylem showed that the cell wall thickness of developed fiber in Pd1 was thickest and the number of xylem vessels of Pn1 was the least. A total of 10,331 differentially expressed genes were identified among 10 pairwise comparisons of the five cultivars, most of them were related to programmed cell death and secondary cell wall thickening. K-means cluster analysis and Gene Ontology enrichment analysis showed that the genes highly expressed in Pd1 were related to nucleotide decomposition, metabolic process, transferase, and microtubule cytoskeleton; whereas the genes highly expressed in Pn1 were involved in cell wall macromolecule decomposition and polysaccharide binding processes. Based on a weighted gene co-expression network analysis, a large number of candidate regulators for xylem development were identified. And their potential regulatory roles to cell wall biosynthesis genes were validated by a transient overexpression system. This study provides a set of promising candidate regulators for genetic engineering to improve feedstock and enhance biofuel conversion in the bioenergy crop Populus.
Project description:Cellulose, the most abundant constituent material of the plant cell walls, is a major structural component of plant biomass. Manipulating cellulose synthesis (CesA) genes by genetic engineering technology, to increase cellulose production may thus offer novel opportunities for plant growth and development. To investigate this, here we produced transgenic "Populus 895 plants" overexpressing the cellulose synthase (CesA2) gene derived from Pinus massoniana under the control of constitutive 35S promoter, via Agrobacterium-mediated transformation. Relative expression levels of PmCesA2 were functionally characterized in poplar hybrid clone "Nanlin895" (Populus deltoides × Populus euramericana). The results demonstrated the transgenic lines showed enhanced growth performance with increased biomass production than did the untransformed controls. It is noteworthy that the overexpression of PmCesA2 in poplar led to an altered cell wall polysaccharide composition, which resulted in the thickening of the secondary cell wall and xylem width under scanning electron microscopy. Consequently, the cellulose and lignin content were increased. Hence, this study suggests that overexpression of PmCesA2 could be used as a potential candidate gene to enhance cellulose synthesis and biomass accumulation in genetically engineered trees.
Project description:Osmotin-like proteins (OLPs) mediate defenses against abiotic and biotic stresses and fungal pathogens in plants. However, no OLPs have been functionally elucidated in poplar. Here, we report an osmotin-like protein designated PdOLP1 from Populus deltoides (Marsh.). Expression analysis showed that PdOLP1 transcripts were mainly present in immature xylem and immature phloem during vascular tissue development in P. deltoides. We conducted phenotypic, anatomical, and molecular analyses of PdOLP1-overexpressing lines and the PdOLP1-downregulated hybrid poplar 84K (Populus alba × Populus glandulosa) (Hybrid poplar 84K PagOLP1, PagOLP2, PagOLP3 and PagOLP4 are highly homologous to PdOLP1, and are downregulated in PdOLP1-downregulated hybrid poplar 84K). The overexpression of PdOLP1 led to a reduction in the radial width and cell layer number in the xylem and phloem zones, in expression of genes involved in lignin biosynthesis, and in the fibers and vessels of xylem cell walls in the overexpressing lines. Additionally, the xylem vessels and fibers of PdOLP1-downregulated poplar exhibited increased secondary cell wall thickness. Elevated expression of secondary wall biosynthetic genes was accompanied by increases in lignin content, dry weight biomass, and carbon storage in PdOLP1-downregulated lines. A PdOLP1 coexpression network was constructed and showed that PdOLP1 was coexpressed with a large number of genes involved in secondary cell wall biosynthesis and wood development in poplar. Moreover, based on transcriptional activation assays, PtobZIP5 and PtobHLH7 activated the PdOLP1 promoter, whereas PtoBLH8 and PtoWRKY40 repressed it. A yeast one-hybrid (Y1H) assay confirmed interaction of PtoBLH8, PtoMYB3, and PtoWRKY40 with the PdOLP1 promoter in vivo. Together, our results suggest that PdOLP1 is a negative regulator of secondary wall biosynthesis and may be valuable for manipulating secondary cell wall deposition to improve carbon fixation efficiency in tree species.
Project description:Previous research has demonstrated that ectopic expression of Ran-binding protein (RanBP) in Arabidopsis results in more axillary buds and reduced apical dominance compared to WT plants. However, the function of RanBP in poplar, which has very typical secondary growth, remains unclear. Here, the Populus deltoides (Marsh.) RanBP gene (PdRanBP) was isolated and functionally characterized by ectopic expression in a hybrid poplar (P. davidiana Dode?×?P. bolleana Lauche).PdRanBP was predominantly expressed in leaf buds and tissues undergoing secondary wall expansion, including immature xylem and immature phloem in the stem. Overexpression of PdRanBP in poplar increased the number of sylleptic branches and the proportion of cells in the G2 phase of the cell cycle, retarded plant growth, consistently decreased the size of the secondary xylem and secondary phloem zones, and reduced the expression levels of cell wall biosynthesis genes. The downregulation of PdRanBP facilitated secondary wall expansion and increased stem height, the sizes of the xylem and phloem zones, and the expression levels of cell wall biosynthesis genes.These results suggest that PdRanBP influences the apical and radial growth of poplar trees and that PdRanBP may regulate cell division during cell cycle progression. Taken together, our results demonstrated that PdRanBP is a nuclear, vascular tissue development-associated protein in P. deltoides.
Project description:Poplar is a model system for the regeneration and genetic transformation of woody plants. To shorten the time required for studies of transgenic poplar, efforts have been made to optimize transformation methods that use Agrobacterium tumefaciens. In this study, an Agrobacterium infective suspension was treated at 4 °C for at least 10 h before infecting explants. By transforming the Populus hybrid clone "Nanlin895" (Populus deltoides×P. euramericana) with Agrobacterium harboring the PBI121:CarNAC6 binary vector, we showed that the transformation efficiency was improved significantly by multiple independent factors, including an Agrobacterium infective suspension with an OD600 of 0.7, an Agrobacterium infection for 120 min, an Agrobacterium infective suspension at a pH of 5.0, an acetosyringone concentration of 200 µM, a cocultivation at 28 °C, a cocultivation for 72 h and a sucrose concentration of 30 g/L in the cocultivation medium. We also showed that preculture of wounded leaf explants for two days increased the regeneration rate. The integration of the desired gene into transgenic poplars was detected using selective medium containing kanamycin, followed by southern blot analysis. The expression of the transgene in the transgenic lines was confirmed by northern blot analysis.
Project description:Drought dramatically affects wood production by adversely impacting cambial cells and their derivatives. Photosynthesis and assimilate transport are also affected by drought conditions. Two poplar genotypes, Populus deltoides 'Dvina' and Populus alba 'Marte', demonstrated contrasting growth performance and water-carbon balance strategies; a mechanistic understanding of the water deficit response was provided by these poplar species. 'Marte' was found to be more anisohydric than 'Dvina'. This characteristic was associated with the capacity to reallocate carbohydrates during water deficits. In contrast, 'Dvina' displayed more conservative water management; carbohydrates were preferably stored or used for cellulose production rather than to achieve an osmotic balance between the phloem and the xylem. Data confirmed that the more 'risk-taking' characteristic of 'Marte' allowed a rapid recovery following water deficit and was connected to a different carbohydrate metabolism.
Project description:The aim of this study was to reveal mechanisms responsible for nitrogen (N) stress in two contrasting Populus clones. Leaves of Nanlin 1388 (N stress-insensitive clone hybrids of Populus deltoides Bart.CV.?×?Populus euramericana (Dode) Guineir CV) and Nanlin 895 (N stress-sensitive clone hybrids of Populus deltoides Bart.CV.?×?Populus euramericana (Dode) Guineir CV) were harvested and analyzed. Different responses visible in photosynthesis, N and carbon contents, physiological traits, and chlorophyll were observed. The Solexa/Illumina's digital gene expression system was used to investigate differentially expressed miRNAs and mRNAs under N stress. Target profiling, and biological network and function analyses were also performed. Randomly selected mRNAs and miRNAs were validated by quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction. In all, 110 Nanlin 1388 and 122 Nanlin 895 miRNAs were differentially expressed, among which 34 and 23 miRNAs were newly found in the two clones, respectively. Under N stress, a total of 329 and 98 mRNAs were regulated in N stress-insensitive and -sensitive clones, respectively. Notably, the miR396 family and its regulated mRNAs were altered in both clones under N stress, while miR646 was regulated only in the N stress-insensitive clone (Nanlin 1388), and miR156, miR319 and miR393 in the N stress-sensitive clone (Nanlin 895). Gene ontology and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes analyses also proved several clone-specific functions and pathways. These findings may be significant for understanding the genetic responses of Populus to N stress.
Project description:Despite its economic importance as a bioenergy crop and key role in riparian ecosystems, little is known about genetic diversity and adaptation of the eastern cottonwood (Populus deltoides). Here, we report the first population genomics study for this species, conducted on a sample of 425 unrelated individuals collected in 13 states of the southeastern United States. The trees were genotyped by targeted resequencing of 18,153 genes and 23,835 intergenic regions, followed by the identification of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). This natural P. deltoides population showed low levels of subpopulation differentiation (FST = 0.022-0.106), high genetic diversity (?W = 0.00100, ? = 0.00170), a large effective population size (Ne ? 32,900), and low to moderate levels of linkage disequilibrium. Additionally, genomewide scans for selection (Tajima's D), subpopulation differentiation (XTX), and environmental association analyses with eleven climate variables carried out with two different methods (LFMM and BAYENV2) identified genes putatively involved in local adaptation. Interestingly, many of these genes were also identified as adaptation candidates in another poplar species, Populus trichocarpa, indicating possible convergent evolution. This study constitutes the first assessment of genetic diversity and local adaptation in P. deltoides throughout the southern part of its range, information we expect to be of use to guide management and breeding strategies for this species in future, especially in the face of climate change.
Project description:Diseases of poplar caused by the native fungal pathogen Sphaerulina musiva and related species are of growing concern, particularly with the increasing interest in intensive poplar plantations to meet growing energy demands. Sphaerulina musiva is able to cause infection on leaves, resulting in defoliation and canker formation on stems. To gain a greater understanding of the different responses of poplar species to infection caused by the naturally co-evolved Sphaerulina species, RNA-seq was conducted on leaves of Populus deltoides, P. balsamifera and P. tremuloides infected with S. musiva, S. populicola and a new undescribed species, Ston1, respectively. The experiment was designed to contain the pathogen in a laboratory environment, while replicating disease development in commercial plantations. Following inoculation, trees were monitored for disease symptoms, pathogen growth and host responses. Genes involved in phenylpropanoid, terpenoid and flavonoid biosynthesis were generally upregulated in P. balsamifera and P. tremuloides, while cell wall modification appears to play an important role in the defense of P. deltoides. Poplar defensive genes were expressed early in P. balsamifera and P. tremuloides, but their expression was delayed in P. deltoides, which correlated with the rate of disease symptoms development. Also, severe infection in P. balsamifera led to leaf abscission. This data gives an insight into the large differences in timing and expression of genes between poplar species being attacked by their associated Sphaerulina pathogen.
Project description:Background:The development of fast-growing hardwood trees as a source of lignocellulosic biomass for biofuel and biomaterial production requires a thorough understanding of the plant cell wall structure and function that underlie the inherent recalcitrance properties of woody biomass. Downregulation of GAUT12.1 in Populus deltoides was recently reported to result in improved biomass saccharification, plant growth, and biomass yield. To further understand GAUT12.1 function in biomass recalcitrance and plant growth, here we report the effects of P. trichocarpa GAUT12.1 overexpression in P. deltoides. Results:Increasing GAUT12.1 transcript expression by 7-49% in P. deltoides PtGAUT12.1-overexpression (OE) lines resulted in a nearly complete opposite biomass saccharification and plant growth phenotype to that observed previously in PdGAUT12.1-knockdown (KD) lines. This included significantly reduced glucose, xylose, and total sugar release (12-13%), plant height (6-54%), stem diameter (8-40%), and overall total aerial biomass yield (48-61%) in 3-month-old, greenhouse-grown PtGAUT12.1-OE lines compared to controls. Total lignin content was unaffected by the gene overexpression. Importantly, selected PtGAUT12.1-OE lines retained the recalcitrance and growth phenotypes upon growth for 9 months in the greenhouse and 2.8 years in the field. PtGAUT12.1-OE plants had significantly smaller leaves with lower relative water content, and significantly reduced stem wood xylem cell numbers and size. At the cell wall level, xylose and galacturonic acid contents increased markedly in total cell walls as well as in soluble and insoluble cell wall extracts, consistent with increased amounts of xylan and homogalacturonan in the PtGAUT12.1-OE lines. This led to increased cell wall recalcitrance, as manifested by the 9-15% reduced amounts of recovered extractable wall materials and 8-15% greater amounts of final insoluble pellet in the PtGAUT12.1-OE lines compared to controls. Conclusions:The combined phenotype and chemotype data from P. deltoides PtGAUT12.1-OE and PdGAUT12.1-KD transgenics clearly establish GAUT12.1 as a recalcitrance- and growth-associated gene in poplar. Overall, the data support the hypothesis that GAUT12.1 synthesizes either an HG-containing primer for xylan synthesis or an HG glycan required for proper xylan deposition, anchoring, and/or architecture in the wall, and the possibility of HG and xylan glycans being connected to each other by a base-sensitive covalent linkage.
Project description:Trees bearing novel or exotic gene components are poised to contribute to the bioeconomy for a variety of purposes such as bioenergy production, phytoremediation, and carbon sequestration within the forestry sector, but sustainable release of trees with novel traits in large-scale plantations requires the quantification of risks posed to native tree populations. Over the last century, exotic hybrid poplars produced through artificial crosses were planted throughout eastern Canada as ornamentals or windbreaks and these exotics provide a proxy by which to examine the fitness of exotic poplar traits within the natural environment to assess risk of exotic gene escape, establishment, and spread into native gene pools. We assessed postzygotic fitness traits of native and exotic poplars within a naturally regenerated stand in eastern Canada (Quebec City, QC). Pure natives (P. balsamifera and P. deltoides spp. deltoides), native hybrids (P. deltoides × P. balsamifera), and exotic hybrids (trees bearing Populus nigra and P. maximowiczii genetic components) were screened for reproductive biomass, yield, seed germination, and fungal disease susceptibility. Exotic hybrids expressed fitness traits intermediate to pure species and were not significantly different from native hybrids. They formed fully viable seed and backcrossed predominantly with P. balsamifera. These data show that exotic hybrids were not unfit and were capable of establishing and competing within the native stand. Future research will seek to examine the impact of exotic gene regions on associated biotic communities to fully quantify the risk exotic poplars pose to native poplar forests.