Renewable fibers produced by forest trees provide excellentraw material of high economic value for industrialapplications. Despite this, the genes and corresponding enzymesinvolved in wood fiber biosynthesis in trees are poorlycharacterized. This thesis describes a functional genomicsapproach for the identification of carbohydrate-active enzymesinvolved in secondary cell wall (wood) formation in hybridaspen.
First, a 3' target amplification method was developed toenable microarray-based gene expression analysis on minuteamounts of RNA. The amplification method was evaluated usingboth a smaller microarray containing 192 cDNA clones and alarger microarray containing 2995 cDNA clones that werehybridized with targets isolated from xylem and phloem.Moreover, a gene expression study of phloem differentiation wasperformed to show the usefulness of the amplificationmethod.
A microarray containing 2995 cDNA clones representing aunigene set of a cambial region EST library was used to studygene expression during wood formation. Transcript populationsfrom thin tissue sections representing different stages ofxylem development were hybridized onto the microarrays. It wasdemonstrated that genes encoding lignin and cellulosebiosynthetic enzymes, as well as a number of genes withoutassigned function, were differentially expressed across thedevelopmental gradient.
Microarrays were also used to track changes in geneexpression in the developing xylem of transgenic, GA-20 oxidaseoverexpressing hybrid aspens that had increased secondarygrowth. The study revealed that a number of genes encoding cellwall related enzymes were upregulated in the transgenic trees.Moreover, most genes with high transcript changes could beassigned a role in the early events of xylogenesis.
Ten genes encoding putative cellulose synthases (CesAs) wereidentified in our ownPopulusESTdatabase. Full length cDNA sequences wereobtained for five of them. Expression analyses performed withreal-time PCR and microarrays in normal wood undergoingxylogenesis and in tension wood revealed xylem specificexpression of four putative CesA isoenzymes.
Finally, an approach combining expressionprofiling,bioinformatics as well as EST and full length sequencing wasadopted to identify secondary cell wall related genes encodingcarbohydrate-active enzymes, such as glycosyltransferases andglycoside hydrolases. As expected, glycosyltransferasesinvolved in the carbohydrate biosynthesis dominated thecollection of the secondary cell wall related enzymes that wereidentified.
Key words:Populus, xylogenesis, secondary cell wall,cellulose, hemicellulose, microarrays, transcript profiling,carbohydrate-active enzyme, glycosyltransferase, glycosidehydrolase
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2004. , 56 p.
Populus, xylogenesis, secondary cell wall, cellulose, hemicellulose, microarrays, transcript profiling, carbohydrate-active enzyme, glycosyltransferase, glycoside hydrolase