Xylem transcription profiles indicate potential metabolic responses for economically relevant characteristics of Eucalyptus species
1 Laboratório de Genômica e Expressão, Departamento de Genética Evolução e Bioagentes, Instituto de Biologia, Universidade Estadual de Campinas, São Paulo, Campinas, CEP: 13083-970, Brasil
2 Department of Genetics, School of Medicine, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC), Chapel Hill, NC, USA
3 Centro de Pesquisa e Desenvolvimento em Recursos Genéticos vegetais, Instituto Agronômico de Campinas, São Paulo, Campinas, CEP: 13001-970, Brasil
BMC Genomics 2013, 14:201 doi:10.1186/1471-2164-14-201Published: 22 March 2013
Eucalyptus is one of the most important sources of industrial cellulose. Three species of this botanical group are intensively used in breeding programs: E. globulus, E. grandis and E. urophylla. E. globulus is adapted to subtropical/temperate areas and is considered a source of high-quality cellulose; E. grandis grows rapidly and is adapted to tropical/subtropical climates; and E. urophylla, though less productive, is considered a source of genes related to robustness. Wood, or secondary xylem, results from cambium vascular differentiation and is mostly composed of cellulose, lignin and hemicelluloses. In this study, the xylem transcriptomes of the three Eucalyptus species were investigated in order to provide insights on the particularities presented by each of these species.
Data analysis showed that (1) most Eucalyptus genes are expressed in xylem; (2) most genes expressed in species-specific way constitutes genes with unknown functions and are interesting targets for future studies; (3) relevant differences were observed in the phenylpropanoid pathway: E. grandis xylem presents higher expression of genes involved in lignin formation whereas E. urophylla seems to deviates the pathway towards flavonoid formation; (4) stress-related genes are considerably more expressed in E. urophylla, suggesting that these genes may contribute to its robustness.
The comparison of these three transcriptomes indicates the molecular signatures underlying some of their distinct wood characteristics. This information may contribute to the understanding of xylogenesis, thus increasing the potential of genetic engineering approaches aiming at the improvement of Eucalyptus forest plantations productivity.