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4.3 Molecular cloning of poplar genes involved in Vascular development

Based on the transcript profiling experiment described under section 4787, a selected number of genes have been chosen for functional analysis in poplar. We have preferentially chosen genes with a distinct peak of expression in the central part of the vascular cambium. We have from this set of “peak” genes filtered out genes that only has high expression in the cambium and not in the other meristems of the plant, this to ensure that we enrich for cambium specific genes. The final group of 78 genes have been subjected to RNA interference in poplar. The creation of transgenic poplar with downregulation of these genes was initiated in February. 2003 and we are expecting to score the phenotypes in June-September 2004. In parallel, 14 of these genes has been selected for full length cloning and has been transformed into poplar under both a cambium specific promoter and inducible promoter.

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