Street NR, Sjödin A, Bylesjö M, Gustafsson P, Trygg J, Jansson S
A cross-species transcriptomics approach to identify genes involved in leaf development
BMC Genomics: 2008 9:589


We have made use of publicly available gene expression data to identify transcription factors and transcriptional modules (regulons) associated with leaf development in Populus. Different tissue types were compared to identify genes informative in the discrimination of leaf and non-leaf tissues. Transcriptional modules within this set of genes were identified in a much wider set of microarray data collected from leaves in a number of developmental, biotic, abiotic and transgenic experiments.

Transcription factors that were over represented in leaf EST libraries and that were useful for discriminating leaves from other tissues were identified, revealing that the C2C2-YABBY, CCAAT-HAP3 and 5, MYB, and ZF-HD families are particularly important in leaves. The expression of transcriptional modules and transcription factors was examined across a number of experiments to select those that were particularly active during the early stages of leaf development. Two transcription factors were found to collocate to previously published Quantitative Trait Loci (QTL) for leaf length. We also found that miRNA family 396 may be important in the control of leaf development, with three members of the family collocating with clusters of leaf development QTL.

This work provides a set of candidate genes involved in the control and processes of leaf development. This resource can be used for a wide variety of purposes such as informing the selection of candidate genes for association mapping or for the selection of targets for reverse genetics studies to further understanding of the genetic control of leaf size and shape.

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