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This article is part of the supplement: IUFRO Tree Biotechnology Conference 2011: From Genomes to Integration and Delivery

Open Access Poster presentation

Formation of woody biomass is regulated by class III HD Zip genes

Marcel Robischon

Author Affiliations

Albert Ludwigs Universität Freiburg

BMC Proceedings 2011, 5(Suppl 7):P123  doi:10.1186/1753-6561-5-S7-P123

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Published:13 September 2011

© 2011 Robischon; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Poster presentation

Secondary growth and the development of woody tissue is a key process in the formation of woody biomass. The gene family of Class III HDZip genes has been shown in the herbaceous Arabidopsis model to play a central role in regulating polarity and vascular development. While Arabidopis is a poor model for investigating processes of wood formation, in this project all poplar Class III HDZip genes were cloned and expressed in hybrid aspen as a tree model system. To circumvent an endogenous regulation mechanism involving microRNAs the sequences were also mutated to render them microRNA resistant. Lines expressing the mutated Poplar ortholog of the Arabidopsis Revoluta gene (Populus Revoluta PRE) show a spectacular phenotype with stunted growth, radialized and rolled leaves, and a double and at times triplication or quadruple layer of the xylem, suggesting the formation of multiple layers of cambium. ClassIII HDZip genes have thus been shown to be crucial for the formation of lignified tissue in trees.