Using a laser-based technique for microdissecting plant tissues, BESC researchers have targeted and analyzed DNA that is actively expressed in switchgrass vascular tissues where secondary cell walls are synthesized and reinforced with lignin. A total of 2,766 unique genes were identified from 5,734 expressed DNA segments (known as expressed sequence tags or ESTs). A significant number of these expressed sequences are novel with no significant hits to existing EST data. A small subset of the identified genes was targeted with labeled probes to visualize the expression of these genes in live plant tissue, and researchers found that several genes have much higher expression in the vascular bundles. The gene list generated from this study provides an important genomic resource for narrowing the range of molecular targets that could play key roles in modifying the lignin content of switchgrass and other related bioenergy crops.
Reference: This research was reported in Srivastava, A. C., et al. 2010. “Collection and Analysis of Expressed Sequence Tags Derived from Laser Capture Microdissected Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L. Alamo) Vascular Tissues,” BioEnergy Research, DOI: 10.1007/s12155-010-9080-8.ps.
Contact: John Houghton, SC-23.2, (301) 903-8288
SC-33.2 Biological Systems Science Division, BER
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