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King, Tori [1], Bruxvoort, Lukas [1], Li, Jianhua [2], Chase, Leah [3].

Genetic Changes of Lignification Genes between Trees and Shrubs.

Lignins are a vital component of vascular plant cell walls that aids in plant growth, protection against pathogens, and environmental adaptability. They are also an important carbon sink due to the difficulty of decomposition by bacteria and fungi. Previous studies have shown that lignin production is negatively correlated with wood volume or biomass. Trees produce a much greater biomass than shrubs, suggesting that lignin production may be less in trees than in shrubs. There are over 20 lignification genes each with one to multiple copies, and their gene expressions affect the production of lignins. Little study has been done to examine genetic changes between trees and shrubs that are closely related. In this study, two lignification genes phenylalanine ammonia-lyase 1 (PAL1) and laccase 17 (LAC17) were obtained using the targeted genomic sequencing technology from trees and shrubs in Corylus (hazelnut), Cornus (dogwood), and Populus and Salix (poplars and willows). These two genes are involved in the production of lignin units and polymerization of individual units, respectively, providing a model to explore the genetic changes between trees and shrubs. Our results showed a variable number of changes from trees to shrubs in the three woody plant groups in both PAL1 and LAC17 genes. However, for the PAL1 gene, there were twice as many transitional changes as transversional changes, while for the LAC17 gene, the two changes were similar. Our next steps are to examine the other copies of both genes to see whether the pattern holds and to focus on whether any of the genetic changes are in the active sites that directly affect the function of the gene in the production of lignins.

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1 - Hope College, Biology, 35 E 12th St., Holland, MI, 49423, United States
2 - Hope College, Biology, 35 E 12th Street, Holland, MI, 49423, United States
3 - Hope College, Biology & Chemistry, 35 E 12th St., Holland, MI, 49423, United States

Carbon sequestration.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Session: PHYT2, Phyochemistry II
Location: /
Date: Tuesday, July 20th, 2021
Time: 1:00 PM(EDT)
Number: PHYT2003
Abstract ID:235
Candidate for Awards:Phytochemical Best Oral Presentation Award

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