Chinese fir (Cunninghamia lanceolata) is an excellent fast-growing timber species which has significant value to the forestry industry. In order to increase nitrogen and phosphorus absorption and utilization in Chinese fir, shared differentially expressed genes under low nitrogen and phosphorus stress were screened in a recent study by researchers from Zhejiang A & F University.

In their study, a seedling of Chinese fir clone X6 was cultivated in an aeroponic system with 3 treatments, namely, low nitrogen (LN), low phosphorus (LP) and a control check (with nitrogen and phosphorus sufficient, CK). After 4 months of treatment, the roots from the LN, LP and CK groups were collected and transcriptome sequencing was performed by LC Sciences (USA). When comparing the LN stress group with the CK group, 977 SDGEs were detected, 264 of which had KEGG annotations; 931 SDGEs were detected when comparing the LP stress group with the CK group, of which 189 had KEGG annotations; 297 SDGEs were detected in both the LN stress and LP stress groups, 78 of which had KEGG annotations representing 98 metabolic pathways. Among the 78 selected SDEGs that were differentially expressed under both LN and LP stress conditions, Twenty-one SDEGs were selected based on the metabolic pathways in which nitrogen and phosphorus are involved. 

The genes identified in this study could potentially be used in breeding to improve both nitrogen and phosphorus utilization efficiency in Chinese fir.

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Reference
JH Li, GF Ma, DW Luo, ZK Tong, J. Xu, YQ Lu​ (2017) Shared differentially expressed genes of Chinese fir (Cunninghamia lanceolata(Lamb.) Hook) seedlings under low nitrogen and phosphorus stress PeerJ doi: 10.7287/peerj.preprints.2916v1 [article]

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