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College of Forest Resources and Environmental Science


Although polyploid plants have larger leaves than their diploid counterparts, the molecular mechanisms underlying this difference (or trait) remain elusive. Differentially expressed genes (DEGs) between triploid and full-sib diploid poplar trees were identified from two transcriptomic data sets followed by a gene association study among DEGs to identify key leaf growth regulators. Yeast one-hybrid system, electrophoretic mobility shift assay, and dual-luciferase assay were employed to substantiate that PpnGRF5-1 directly regulated PpnCKX1. The interactions between PpnGRF5-1 and growth-regulating factor (GRF)-interacting factors (GIFs) were experimentally validated and a multilayered hierarchical regulatory network (ML-hGRN)-mediated by PpnGRF5-1 was constructed with top-down graphic Gaussian model (GGM) algorithm by combining RNA-sequencing data from its overexpression lines and DAP-sequencing data. PpnGRF5-1 is a negative regulator of PpnCKX1. Overexpression of PpnGRF5-1 in diploid transgenic lines resulted in larger leaves resembling those of triploids, and significantly increased zeatin and isopentenyladenine in the apical buds and third leaves. PpnGRF5-1 also interacted with GIFs to increase its regulatory diversity and capacity. An ML-hGRN-mediated by PpnGRF5-1 was obtained and could largely elucidate larger leaves. PpnGRF5-1 and the ML-hGRN-mediated by PpnGRF5-1 were underlying the leaf growth and development.

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© 2021 The Authors. New Phytologist Foundation. Publisher’s version of record:

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New Phytologist

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


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