Peptide encoding Populus CLV3/ESR-RELATED 47 (PttCLE47) promotes cambial development and secondary xylem formation in hybrid aspen
New Phytol. 2019 Nov 20 [Epub ahead of print]
Kucukoglu M, Chaabouni S, Zheng B, Mähönen AP, Helariutta Y, Nilsson O

The CLAVATA3 (CLV3)/EMBRYO SURROUNDING REGION (ESR)-RELATED (CLE) peptide ligands in connection with their receptors are important players in cell-to-cell communications in plants. Here, we investigated the function of the PttCLE47 gene during secondary growth and wood formation in hybrid aspen (Populus tremula x tremuloides) using an RNAi approach. Expression of PttCLE47 peaks in the vascular cambium. Silencing of the PttCLE47 gene expression affected lateral expansion of stems and decreased apical height growth and leaf size. In particular, PttCLE47 RNAi trees exhibited a narrower secondary xylem zone with less xylem cells/cell file. The reduced radial growth phenotype also correlated with a reduced number of cambial cell layers. In agreement with these results, expression of several cambial regulator genes were down regulated in the stems of the transgenic trees in comparison to controls. All together these results suggest that the PttCLE47 gene is a major positive regulator of cambial activity in hybrid aspen, mainly promoting the production of secondary xylem. Furthermore, in contrast to previously characterized CLE genes expressed in the wood-forming zone, PttCLE47 appears to be active at its site of expression.

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