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Plant Physiol. 2012 Jan;158(1):531-41. doi: 10.1104/pp.111.181602. Epub 2011 Nov 3.

Pectin Methylesterase genes influence solid wood properties of Eucalyptus pilularis.

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  • 1Cooperative Research Centre for Forestry, Hobart, Tasmania 7001, Australia.


This association study of Eucalyptus pilularis populations provides empirical evidence for the role of Pectin Methylesterase (PME) in influencing solid wood characteristics of Eucalyptus. PME6 was primarily associated with the shrinkage and collapse of drying timber, which are phenotypic traits consistent with the role of pectin as a hydrophilic polysaccharide. PME7 was primarily associated with cellulose and pulp yield traits and had an inverse correlation with lignin content. Selection of specific alleles in these genes may be important for improving trees as sources of high-quality wood products. A heterozygote advantage was postulated for the PME7 loci and, in combination with haplotype blocks, may explain the absence of a homozygous class at all single-nucleotide polymorphisms investigated in this gene.

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