Transcript Profiling During Fiber Development Identifies Pathways in Secondary Metabolism and Cell Wall Structure That May Contribute to Cotton Fiber Quality

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Journal Article
PLANT AND CELL PHYSIOLOGY, 2009, 50 (7), pp. 1364 - 1381
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A global gene expression profi ling study at different stages of fi ber development was undertaken on two cotton species cultivated for fi ber, Gossypium hirsutum (L.) and G. barbadense (L.). A large proportion of the genome was expressed during both fi ber elongation and subsequent secondary cell wall thickening. There was a major shift in abundance of transcripts for gene regulation, cell organization and metabolism between fi ber elongation and fi ber thickening that was fundamentally similar in both species. Each stage had its own distinctive features represented by specifi c metabolic and regulatory genes, a number of which have been noted previously. Many of the genes expressed in the fi bers were of a similar type and developmental expression to those seen in other fi berproducing plants, indicating a conservation of mechanisms of cell elongation and wall thickening across diverse plant genera. Secondary metabolism and pectin synthesis and modifi cation genes were amongst the most statistically signifi cant differentially expressed categories between the two species during fi ber elongation. The gene profi les of the fi ber thickening stage, however, were almost identical between the two species, suggesting that their different fi nal fi ber quality properties may be established at earlier stages of fi ber development. Expression levels of representative phenylpropanoid and pectin modifi cation genes showed high correlations with specifi c fi ber properties in an inter-specifi c cotton recombinant inbred line (RIL) population, supporting a role in determining fi ber quality.
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