International Journal of the Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Technology of Wood
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Influence of overexpression of a gibberellin 20-oxidase gene on the kinetics of xylem cell development in hybrid poplar (Populus tremula L. and P. tremuloides Michx.)
Citation Information: Holzforschung. Volume 60, Issue 6, Pages 608–617, ISSN (Online) 1437-434X, ISSN (Print) 0018-3830, DOI: 10.1515/HF.2006.103, December 2006
- December 22, 2005
- September 4, 2006
- Published Online:
Gibberellins (GAs) are important regulators of shoot growth in trees. We studied the kinetics of xylem formation in hybrid poplar (Populus tremula L.×P. tremuloides Michx.) in which the key regulatory gene gibberellin acid 20 oxidase (GA20-oxidase) isolated from Arabidopsis is overexpressed. Increments in the height and radius of shoots were registered by high-resolution laser measurements. The anatomical and chemical structure of mature xylem cells was studied by light electron microscopy and UV spectrophotometry. Transgenic plants showed an increase in height growth, but a lower speed of cell elongation during primary growth compared to wild-type plants. During the first year of growth, transgenic plants showed a higher radius increment, an increase in the period of cell expansion of vessels and fibres and their final size, and a higher lignin content of the compound middle lamella between fibres compared to wild-type plants. In contrast, during the third year of growth, only a slight increase in the period of cell expansion of fibre cells was observed in transgenic compared to wild-type plants. Analyses of GA20-oxidase expression in leaves and shoots of 6-month- and 3-year-old plants of three different independent transgenic lines revealed a decrease in its expression only in shoots but not in leaves of the 3-year-old plants. The results indicate that overexpression of the GA20-oxidase gene in young shoots of transgenic poplar predominately affects cell expansion, while no GA20-oxidase expression was observed in shoots of 3-year-old transgenic plants, resulting in wild-type xylem cell development.
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