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Free Content Microarray analysis revealed upregulation of nitrate reductase in juvenile cuttings of Eucalyptus grandis, which correlated with increased nitric oxide production and adventitious root formation

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The loss of rooting capability following the transition from the juvenile to the mature phase is a known phenomenon in woody plant development. Eucalyptus grandis was used here as a model system to study the differences in gene expression between juvenile and mature cuttings. RNA was prepared from the base of the two types of cuttings before root induction and hybridized to a DNA microarray of E. grandis. In juvenile cuttings, 363 transcripts were specifically upregulated, enriched in enzymes of oxidation/reduction processes. In mature cuttings, 245 transcripts were specifically upregulated, enriched in transcription factors involved in the regulation of secondary metabolites. A gene encoding for nitrate reductase (NIA), which is involved in nitric oxide (NO) production, was among the genes that were upregulated in juvenile cuttings. Concomitantly, a transient burst of NO was observed upon excision, which was higher in juvenile cuttings than in mature ones. Treatment with an NO donor improved rooting of both juvenile and mature cuttings. A single NIA gene was found in the newly released E. grandis genome sequence, the cDNA of which was isolated, overexpressed in Arabidopsis plants and shown to increase NO production in intact plants. Therefore, higher levels of NIA in E. grandis juvenile cuttings might lead to increased ability to produce NO and to form adventitious roots. Arabidopsis transgenic plants constantly expressing EgNIA did not exhibit a significantly higher lateral or adventitious root formation, suggesting that spatial and temporal rather than a constitutive increase in NO is favorable for root differentiation.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: The Institute of Plant Sciences, Volcani Center, PO Box 6, Bet-Dagan 50250, Israel 2: The Robert H. Smith Institute of Plant Sciences and Genetics in Agriculture, The Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Rehovot 76100, Israel

Publication date: September 1, 2012

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