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Analyses of GA20ox- and GID1-over-expressing aspen suggest that gibberellins play two distinct roles in wood formation

Mauriat, Mélanie, Moritz, Thomas
Plant journal 2009 v.58 no.6 pp. 989-1003
Arabidopsis thaliana, Populus tremula, cambium, flowering, gene overexpression, gibberellins, homeostasis, hybrids, phenotype, promoter regions, signal transduction, wood, xylem
Gibberellins (GAs) are involved in many aspects of plant development, including shoot growth, flowering and wood formation. Increased levels of bioactive GAs are known to induce xylogenesis and xylem fiber elongation in aspen. However, there is currently little information on the response pathway(s) that mediate GA effects on wood formation. Here we characterize an important element of the GA pathway in hybrid aspen: the GA receptor, GID1. Four orthologs of GID1 were identified in Populus tremula x P. tremuloides (PttGID1.1-1.4). These were functional when expressed in Arabidopsis thaliana, and appear to present a degree of sub-functionalization in hybrid aspen. PttGID1.1 and PttGID1.3 were over-expressed in independent lines of hybrid aspen using either the 35S promoter or a xylem-specific promoter (LMX5). The 35S:PttGID1 over-expressors shared several phenotypic traits previously described in 35S:AtGA20ox1 over-expressors, including rapid growth, increased elongation, and increased xylogenesis. However, their xylem fibers were not elongated, unlike those of 35S:AtGA20ox1 plants. Similar differences in the xylem fiber phenotype were observed when PttGID1.1, PttGID1.3 or AtGA20ox1 were expressed under the control of the LMX5 promoter, suggesting either that PttGID1.1 and PttGID1.3 play no role in fiber elongation or that GA homeostasis is strongly controlled when GA signaling is altered. Our data suggest that GAs are required in two distinct wood-formation processes that have tissue-specific signaling pathways: xylogenesis, as mediated by GA signaling in the cambium, and fiber elongation in the developing xylem.