Transcriptomics of tapping and healing process in frankincense tree during resin production

Genomics. 2021 Nov;113(6):4337-4351. doi: 10.1016/j.ygeno.2021.11.020. Epub 2021 Nov 16.


Frankincense tree (Boswellia sacra Fluek) has been poorly known on how it responds to tapping and wound-recovery process at molecular levels. Here, we used RNA-sequencing analysis to profile transcriptome of B. sacra after 30 min, 3 h and 6 h of post-tapping. Results showed 5525 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) that were related to terpenoid biosynthesis, phytohormonal regulation, cellular transport, and cell-wall synthesis. Plant-growth-regulators were applied exogenously which showed regulation of endogenous jasmonates and resulted in rapid recovery of cell-wall integrity by significantly up-regulated gene expression of terpenoid biosynthesis (germacrene-D synthase, B-amyrin synthase, and squalene epioxidase-1) and cell-wall synthesis (xyloglucan endotransglucosylase, cellulose synthase-A, and cell-wall hydrolase) compared to control. These findings suggest that tapping immediately activated several cell-developmental and regeneration processes, alongwith defense-induced terpenoid metabolism, to improve the healing process in epidermis. Exogenous growth regulators, especially jasmonic acid, can drastically help tree recovery from tissue degeneration and might help in tree conservation purposes.

Keywords: Boswellia sacra; Ecophysiolomics; Gene expression; Phytohormones; Plant-growth regulators; Wounding stress.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Boswellia* / metabolism
  • Frankincense* / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant
  • Resins, Plant / metabolism
  • Transcriptome
  • Trees / metabolism


  • Resins, Plant
  • Frankincense