Gene expression during formation of earlywood and latewood in loblolly pine: expression profiles of 350 genes.
Egertsdotter U., van Zyl LM., MacKay J., Peter G., Kirst M., Clark C., Whetten R., Sederoff R.
The natural variability of wood formation in trees affords opportunities to correlate transcript profiles with the resulting wood properties. We have used cDNA microarrays to study transcript abundance in developing secondary xylem of loblolly pine (Pinus taeda) over a growing season. The cDNAs were selected from a collection of 75 000 ESTs that have been sequenced and annotated (http://web.ahc.umn.edu/biodata/nsfpine/). Cell wall thickness and climatic data were related to earlywood and latewood formation at different time points during the growing season. Seventy-one ESTs showed preferential expression in earlywood or latewood, including 23 genes with no significant similarity to genes in GenBank. Seven genes involved in lignin synthesis were preferentially expressed in latewood. The studies have provided initial insights into the variation of expression patterns of some of the genes related to the wood formation process.