Czarnecki, O. et al., 2014. PLoS ONE

Characterization of MORE AXILLARY GROWTH Genes in Populus

Olaf Czarnecki, Jun Yang, Xiaoping Wang, Shucai Wang, Wellington Muchero, Gerald A. Tuskan, and Jin-Gui Chen
18 July 2014, PLoS One 9(7):  e102757; doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0120757



Strigolactones are a new class of plant hormones that play a key role in regulating shoot branching. Studies of branching mutants in Arabidopsis, pea, rice and petunia have identified several key genes involved in strigolactone biosynthesis or signaling pathway. In the model plant Arabidopsis, MORE AXILLARY GROWTH1 (MAX1), MAX2, MAX3 and MAX4 are four founding members of strigolactone pathway genes. However, little is known about the strigolactone pathway genes in the woody perennial plants.

Methodology/Principal Finding

Here we report the identification of MAX homologues in the woody model plant Populus trichocarpa. We identified the sequence homologues for each MAX protein in P. trichocarpa. Gene expression analysis revealed that Populus MAX paralogous genes are differentially expressed across various tissues and organs. Furthermore, we showed that Populus MAX genes could complement or partially complement the shoot branching phenotypes of the corresponding Arabidopsis max mutants.


This study provides genetic evidence that strigolactone pathway genes are likely conserved in the woody perennial plants and lays a foundation for further characterization of strigolactone pathway and its functions in the woody perennial plants.


Citation: Czarnecki O, Yang J, Wang X, Wang S, Muchero W, et al. (2014) Characterization of MORE AXILLARY GROWTH Genes in Populus. PLoS ONE 9(7): e102757. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0102757