Resman L, Howe G, Jonsen D, Englund M, Druart N. Schrader J, Antti H, Skinner J, Sjödin A, Chen T, Bhalerao RP
Components acting downstream of short day perception regulate differential cessation of cambial activity and associated response in early and late clones of hybrid Poplar
Plant Physiology: 2010 154:1294-1303

Short days (SDs) in autumn induce growth cessation, bud set, cold acclimation, and dormancy in trees of boreal and temperate forests, and these responses occur earlier in northern than in southern genotypes. Nevertheless, we know little about whether this variation results from differential perception of SDs or differential downstream responses to the SD signal or a combination of the two. We compared global patterns of SD-regulated gene expression in the stems of hybrid poplar (Populus trichocarpa x Populus deltoides) clones that differ in their SD-induced growth cessation in order to address this question. The timing of cessation of cambial cell division caused by SDs differed between the clones and was coincident with the change in the pattern of expression of the auxin-regulated genes. The clones also differed in the timing of their SD-regulated changes in the transcript abundance of genes associated with cold tolerance, starch breakdown, and storage protein accumulation. By analyzing the expression of homologs of FLOWERING LOCUS T, we demonstrated that the clones differed little in their perception of SDs under the growth conditions applied but differed substantially in the downstream responses manifested in the timing and magnitude of gene expression after SD treatment. These results demonstrate the existence of factors that act downstream of SD perception and can contribute to variation in SD-regulated adaptive photoperiodic responses in trees.

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