Table of Contents
Molecular Biology International
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 974324, 12 pages
Review Article

The Transcriptomics of Secondary Growth and Wood Formation in Conifers

1Institute for Biotechnology and Bioengineering, Centre of Genomics and Biotechnology (IBB/CGB), University of Tras-os-Montes and Alto Douro, 5001-801 Vila Real, Portugal
2Instituto de Investigação Científica Tropical (IICT), Centro de Florestas e Produtos Florestais (FLOR), Tapada da Ajuda, 1349-018 Lisboa, Portugal
3Department of Forestry Sciences and Landscape (CIFAP), University of Tras-os-Montes and Alto Douro, 5001-801 Vila Real, Portugal
4Centre for the Research and Technology of Agro-Environmental and Biological Sciences (CITAB), University of Tras-os-Montes and Alto Douro, 5001-801 Vila Real, Portugal

Received 29 April 2013; Revised 22 August 2013; Accepted 9 September 2013

Academic Editor: Joseph Rothnagel

Copyright © 2013 Ana Carvalho et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


In the last years, forestry scientists have adapted genomics and next-generation sequencing (NGS) technologies to the search for candidate genes related to the transcriptomics of secondary growth and wood formation in several tree species. Gymnosperms, in particular, the conifers, are ecologically and economically important, namely, for the production of wood and other forestry end products. Until very recently, no whole genome sequencing of a conifer genome was available. Due to the gradual improvement of the NGS technologies and inherent bioinformatics tools, two draft assemblies of the whole genomes sequence of Picea abies and Picea glauca arose in the current year. These draft genome assemblies will bring new insights about the structure, content, and evolution of the conifer genomes. Furthermore, new directions in the forestry, breeding and research of conifers will be discussed in the following. The identification of genes associated with the xylem transcriptome and the knowledge of their regulatory mechanisms will provide less time-consuming breeding cycles and a high accuracy for the selection of traits related to wood production and quality.