The regulation of cambial activity in Chinese fir (Cunninghamia lanceolata) involves extensive transcriptome remodeling

New Phytol. 2013 Aug;199(3):708-19. doi: 10.1111/nph.12301. Epub 2013 May 2.


Chinese fir (Cunninghamia lanceolata), a commercially important tree for the timber and pulp industry, is widely distributed in southern China and northern Vietnam, but its large and complex genome has hindered the development of genomic resources. Few efforts have focused on analysis of the modulation of transcriptional networks in vascular cambium during the transition from active growth to dormancy in conifers. Here, we used Illumina sequencing to analyze the global transcriptome alterations at the different stages of vascular cambium development in Chinese fir. By analyzing dynamic changes in the transcriptome of vascular cambium based on our RNA sequencing (RNA-Seq) data at the dormant, reactivating and active stages, many potentially interesting genes were identified that encoded putative regulators of cambial activity, cell division, cell expansion and cell wall biosynthesis and modification. In particular, the genes involved in transcriptional regulation and hormone signaling were highlighted to reveal their biological importance in the cambium development and wood formation. Our results reveal the dynamics of transcriptional networks and identify potential key components in the regulation of vascular cambium development in Chinese fir, which will contribute to the in-depth study of cambial differentiation and wood-forming candidate genes in conifers.

Keywords: Chinese fir (Cunninghamia lanceolata); RNA-Seq; transcriptome; vascular cambium; wood formation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cambium / genetics*
  • Cambium / growth & development
  • Cluster Analysis
  • Cunninghamia / genetics*
  • Cunninghamia / growth & development
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant
  • High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing
  • Molecular Sequence Annotation
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Transcriptome / genetics*


  • RNA, Messenger