Tissue-specific localization of gibberellins and expression of gibberellin-biosynthetic and signaling genes in wood-forming tissues in aspen

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(fax +46 90 786 8165; e-mail thomas.moritz@genfys.slu.se).

Summary

Bioactive gibberellins (GAs) are known regulators of shoot growth and development in plants. In an attempt to identify where GAs are formed, we have analyzed the expression patterns of six GA biosynthesis genes and two genes with predicted roles in GA signaling and responses in relation to measured levels of GAs. The analysis was based on tangential sections, giving tissue-specific resolution across the cambial region of aspen trees (Populus tremula). Gibberellin quantification by GC/MS-SRM showed that the bioactive GA1 and GA4 were predominantly located in the zone of expansion of xylem cells. Based on co-localization of the expression of the late GA biosynthesis gene GA 20-oxidase 1 and bioactive GAs, we suggest that de novo GA biosynthesis occurs in the expanding xylem. However, expression levels of the first committed GA biosynthesis enzyme, ent-copalyl diphosphate synthase, were high in the phloem, suggesting that a GA precursor(s) may be transported to the xylem. The expression of the GA signaling and response genes DELLA-like1 and GIP-like1 coincided well with sites of high bioactive GA levels. We therefore suggest that the main role of GA during wood formation is to regulate early stages of xylem differentiation, including cell elongation.

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