Quantitative genetic analysis of biomass and wood chemistry of Populus under different nitrogen levels

Authors

  • Evandro Novaes,

    1. School of Forest Resources and Conservation, University of Florida, PO Box 110410, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA;
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  • Luis Osorio,

    1. School of Forest Resources and Conservation, University of Florida, PO Box 110410, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA;
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  • Derek R. Drost,

    1. School of Forest Resources and Conservation, University of Florida, PO Box 110410, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA;
    2. Plant Molecular and Cellular Biology Graduate Program, University of Florida, PO Box 110690, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA;
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  • Brianna L. Miles,

    1. School of Forest Resources and Conservation, University of Florida, PO Box 110410, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA;
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  • Carolina R. D. Boaventura-Novaes,

    1. School of Forest Resources and Conservation, University of Florida, PO Box 110410, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA;
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  • Catherine Benedict,

    1. School of Forest Resources and Conservation, University of Florida, PO Box 110410, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA;
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  • Christopher Dervinis,

    1. School of Forest Resources and Conservation, University of Florida, PO Box 110410, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA;
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  • Qibin Yu,

    1. School of Forest Resources and Conservation, University of Florida, PO Box 110410, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA;
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  • Robert Sykes,

    1. National Renewable Energy Laboratory, US Department of Energy, 1617 Cole Blvd., Golden, CO 80401, USA;
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  • Mark Davis,

    1. National Renewable Energy Laboratory, US Department of Energy, 1617 Cole Blvd., Golden, CO 80401, USA;
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  • Timothy A. Martin,

    1. School of Forest Resources and Conservation, University of Florida, PO Box 110410, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA;
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  • Gary F. Peter,

    1. School of Forest Resources and Conservation, University of Florida, PO Box 110410, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA;
    2. Plant Molecular and Cellular Biology Graduate Program, University of Florida, PO Box 110690, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA;
    3. University of Florida Genetics Institute, University of Florida, PO Box 103610, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA
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  • Matias Kirst

    1. School of Forest Resources and Conservation, University of Florida, PO Box 110410, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA;
    2. Plant Molecular and Cellular Biology Graduate Program, University of Florida, PO Box 110690, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA;
    3. University of Florida Genetics Institute, University of Florida, PO Box 103610, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA
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Author for correspondence:
Matias Kirst
Tel:+1 352 846 0900
Email: mkirst@ufl.edu

Summary

  • • The genetic control of carbon allocation and partitioning in woody perennial plants is poorly understood despite its importance for carbon sequestration, biofuels and other wood-based industries. It is also unclear how environmental cues, such as nitrogen availability, impact the genes that regulate growth, biomass allocation and wood composition in trees.
  • • We phenotyped 396 clonally replicated genotypes of an interspecific pseudo-backcross pedigree of Populus for wood composition and biomass traits in above- and below-ground organs. The loci that regulate growth, carbon allocation and partitioning under two nitrogen conditions were identified, defining the contribution of environmental cues to their genetic control.
  • • Sixty-three quantitative trait loci were identified for the 20 traits analyzed. The majority of quantitative trait loci are specific to one of the two nitrogen treatments, demonstrating significant nitrogen-dependent genetic control. A highly significant genetic correlation was observed between plant growth and lignin/cellulose composition, and quantitative trait loci co-localization identified the genomic position of potential pleiotropic regulators.
  • • Pleiotropic loci linking higher growth rates to wood with less lignin are excellent targets to engineer tree germplasm improved for pulp, paper and cellulosic ethanol production. The causative genes are being identified with a genetical genomics approach.

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