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Differential Gene Profiling Of The Heartwood Formation Process In Taiwania Cryptomerioides Hayata Xylem Tissues

Yeh, Chu, Liu, Chen

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Taiwania (Taiwania cryptomerioides) is an important tree species in Taiwan because of the excellent properties of its wood and fascinating color qualities of its heartwood (HW), as well as the bioactive compounds therein. However, limited information is available as to the HW formation of this species. The objective of this research is to analyze the differentially expressed genes (DEGs) during the HW formation process from specific Taiwania xylem tissues, and to obtain genes that might be closely associated with this process. The results indicated that our analyses have captured DEGs representative to the HW formation process of Taiwania. DEGs related to the terpenoid biosynthesis pathway were all up-regulated in the transition zone (TZ) to support the biosynthesis and accumulation of terpenoids. Many DEGs related to lignin biosynthesis, and two DEGs related to pinoresinol reductase (PrR)/pinoresinol lariciresinol reductase (PLR), were up-regulated in TZ. These DEGs together are likely involved in providing the precursors for the subsequent lignan biosynthesis. Several transcription factor-, nuclease-, and protease-encoding DEGs were also highly expressed in TZ, and these DEGs might be involved in the regulation of secondary metabolite biosynthesis and the autolysis of the cellular components of ray parenchyma cells in TZ. These results provide further insights into the process of HW formation in Taiwania.