Transcriptomic Analysis of Wood Formation in Neolamarckia cadamba (Roxb.) Bosser (Kelampayan)
Forest trees represent the majority of terrestrial biomass production and a vital component of biodiversity. However, these slow growing trees are unable to meet current global demand for wood, resulting in the loss and degradation of forest. Neolamarkia cadamba (Roxb.) Bosser (kelampayan) has recently been identified as one of the potential fast growing species for forest plantation in Sarawak. This species is reported to grow vigorously, and is reported as one of the best materials for plywood industries. In forest trees, stem diameter growth results from the activity of the vascular cambium. Cambium derivatives develop into xylem cells through the process of cell division, cell expansion, secondary cell wall formation (involving cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin synthesis), and programmmed cell death. These processes are strongly interlinked and modulation of any one aspect of wood formation may affect many other aspects. Thus, the use of functional genomics approach can provide rapid information on the regulation of not just one gene, but an entire pathway or several pathways at the same time. This project is directed at understanding the wood formation of kelampayan based on sequencing analysis of cDNA clones (ESTs) derived from developing-xylem region tissues. The advances in the understanding of wood formation of Acacia hybrid, poplar and pine via ESTs could provide a powerful means for identifying novel genes and the mechanisms controlling xylem formation in N. cadamba. Moreover, the developing-xylem cDNA library and accompanying database will support research directed toward the mechanisms of wood formation, supply many new cloned genes for future endeavours to modify wood and fiber properties, and increase our knowledge of the environmental influence on wood properties. Comparison of N. cadamba ESTs with sequences from angiosperms will also generate value added information about the evolution of higher plants. Please feel free to visit us at CADAMOMICS for further information about the kelampayan EST project.