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International Journal of the Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Technology of Wood

Editor-in-Chief: Faix, Oskar

Editorial Board Member: Daniel, Geoffrey / Militz, Holger / Rosenau, Thomas / Salmen, Lennart / Sixta, Herbert / Vuorinen, Tapani / Argyropoulos, Dimitris S. / Balakshin, Yu / Barnett, J. R. / Burgert, Ingo / Rio, Jose C. / Evans, Robert / Evtuguin, Dmitry V. / Frazier, Charles E. / Fukushima, Kazuhiko / Gindl-Altmutter, Wolfgang / Glasser, W. G. / Holmbom, Bjarne / Isogai, Akira / Kadla, John F. / Koch, Gerald / Lachenal, Dominique / Laine, Christiane / Mansfield, Shawn D. / Morrell, J.J. / Niemz, Peter / Potthast, Antje / Ragauskas, Arthur J. / Ralph, John / Rice, Robert W. / Salin, Jarl-Gunnar / Schmitt, Uwe / Schultz, Tor P. / Sipilä, Jussi / Takano, Toshiyuki / Tamminen, Tarja / Theliander, Hans / Welling, Johannes / Willför, Stefan / Yoshihara, Hiroshi

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Volume 60, Issue 6 (Nov 2006)


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.)

Oliver Dünisch
  • Institute for Wood Biology and Wood Preservation, Federal Research Centre for Forestry and Forest Products, Hamburg, Germany
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Matthias Fladung
  • Institute for Forest Genetics and Forest Tree Breeding, Federal Research Centre for Forestry and Forest Products, Grosshansdorf, Germany
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Satoshi Nakaba / Yoko Watanabe / Ryo Funada
Published Online: 2006-12-04 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/HF.2006.103


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.

Keywords: cambial activity; cell expansion; transgenic poplar (Populus tremula L.×P. tremuloides Michx.); wood anatomy; xylem cell differentiation

About the article

Corresponding author. Institute for Wood Biology and Wood Preservation, Federal Research Centre for Forestry and Forest Products, Leuschnerstr. 91, D-21031 Hamburg, Germany Phone: +49-40-73962460

Received: December 22, 2005

Accepted: September 4, 2006

Published Online: 2006-12-04

Published in Print: 2006-11-01

Citation Information: Holzforschung, ISSN (Online) 1437-434X, ISSN (Print) 0018-3830, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/HF.2006.103.

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