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Pacific Rim Forestry / Silviculture and Forest Ecology

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Leucaena leucocephala (leucaena) is an important agroforestry tree of tropics and subtropics due to its protein rich foliages, ability to grow on poor soils, and high level of tolerance to various stresses including drought and diseases. We hypothesized that leucaena have a unique set of genes which confer tolerance to various abiotic and biotic stresses and these genes are either absent or not expressed in other legumes that are susceptible to these stress conditions. Interspecies suppression subtractive hybridization (iSSH) was performed to identify some unique genes from leucaena using cDNAs from leucaena and Acacia confusa (acacia) as the tester and driver, respectively. We identified 100 leucaena genes showing homology to various plant genes with known functions, of which 23 genes had homology to various stress-related proteins including chitinase, PR-10 protein, wound-stress protein, type-2 metallothionein, thaumatin-like protein, disease resistance response protein, cysteine proteinase, and kunitz trypsin inhibitor. We also identified 50 leucaena genes which either had homology to hypothetical proteins (HyPs) or had no homology at all. Putative functions of 15 HyPs were predicted using conserved domain and PSI-BLAST analyses. Linear motif analyses identified 17 HyPs with MAPK recognition motif, which is involved in signaling pathways, including stress responses. This study identified 23 known and some putative unique stress-related genes from leucaena which may serve as a useful source of stress-tolerance genes for tree and crop improvement in the future.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2011-12-01

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  • The Journal of Forestry is the most widely circulated scholarly forestry journal in the world. In print since 1902, the Journal has received several national awards for excellence. The mission of the Journal of Forestry is to advance the profession of forestry by keeping forest management professionals informed about significant developments and ideas in the many facets of forestry: economics, education and communication, entomology and pathology, fire, forest ecology, geospatial technologies, history, international forestry, measurements, policy, recreation, silviculture, social sciences, soils and hydrology, urban and community forestry, utilization and engineering, and wildlife management. The Journal is published bimonthly: January, March, May, July, September, and November.

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