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Physiological And Transcriptome Responses To Elevated CO2 Concentration In Populus

Tae-Lim Kim, Hoyong Chung, Karpagam Veerappan, Wi Young Lee, Danbe Park, Hyemin Lim

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Global climate change is heavily affected by an increase in CO2. As one of several efforts to cope with this, research on poplar, a representative, fast growing, and model organism in plants, is actively underway. The effects of elevated atmospheric CO2 on the metabolism, growth, and transcriptome of poplar were investigated to predict productivity in an environment where CO2 concentrations are increasing. Poplar trees were grown at ambient (400 ppm) or elevated CO2 concentrations (1.4× ambient, 560 ppm, and 1.8× ambient, 720 ppm) for 16 weeks in open-top chambers (OTCs). We analyzed the differences in the transcriptomes of Populusalba × Populus glandulosa clone “Clivus” and Populus euramericana clone “I-476” using high-throughput sequencing techniques and elucidated the functions of the differentially expressed genes (DEGs) using various functional annotation methods. About 272,355 contigs and 207,063 unigenes were obtained from transcriptome assembly with the Trinity assembly package. Common DEGs were identified which were consistently regulated in both the elevated CO2 concentrations. In Clivus 29, common DEGs were found, and most of these correspond to cell wall proteins, especially hydroxyproline-rich glycoproteins (HRGP), or related to fatty acid metabolism. Concomitantly, in I-476, 25 were identified, and they were related to heat shock protein (HSP) chaperone family, photosynthesis, nitrogen metabolism, and carbon metabolism. In addition, carbohydrate contents, including starch and total soluble sugar, were significantly increased in response to elevated CO2. These data should be useful for future gene discovery, molecular studies, and tree improvement strategies for the upcoming increased-CO2 environments.