Transcriptional analysis of differentially expressed genes in response to stem inclination in young seedlings of pine


  • Editor
    R. Mendel

R. Herrera, Instituto Biología Vegetal y Biotecnología, Universidad de Talca, 2 Norte 685, Talca, Chile.


The gravitropic response in trees is a widely studied phenomenon, however understanding of the molecular mechanism involved remains unclear. The purpose of this work was to identify differentially expressed genes in response to inclination using a comparative approach for two conifer species. Young seedlings were subjected to inclination and samples were collected at four different times points. First, suppression subtractive hybridisation (SSH) was used to identify differentially regulated genes in radiata pine (Pinus radiata D. Don). cDNA libraries were constructed from the upper and lower part of inclined stems in a time course experiment, ranging from 2.5 h to 1 month. From a total of 3092 sequences obtained, 2203 elements were assembled, displaying homology to a public database. A total of 942 unigene elements were identified using bioinformatic tools after redundancy analysis. Of these, 614 corresponded to known function genes and 328 to unknown function genes, including hypothetical proteins. Comparative analysis between radiata pine and maritime pine (Pinus pinaster Ait.) was performed to validate the differential expression of relevant candidate genes using qPCR. Selected genes were involved in several functional categories: hormone regulation, phenylpropanoid pathway and signal transduction. This comparative approach for the two conifer species helped determine the molecular gene pattern generated by inclination, providing a set of Pinus gene signatures that may be involved in the gravitropic stress response. These genes may also represent relevant candidate genes involved in the gravitropic response and potentially in wood formation.