Expression Quantitative Trait Loci Mapping Identified PtrXB38 as a Key Hub Gene in Adventitious Root Development in Populus

Tao Yao, Jin Zhang, Timothy Yates, Him Shrestha, Nancy Engle, Raphael Ployet, Cai John, Kai Feng, William Bewg, Margot Chen, Haiwei Lu, Scott Harding, Zhenzhen Qiao, Sara Jawdy, Mengjun Shu, Wenya Yuan, Khadijeh Mozaffari, Anne Harmon-Ware, Renee Happs, Larry YorkBrad Binder, Yuko Yoshinaga, Christopher Daum, Timothy Tschaplinski, Paul Abraham, Chung-Jui Tsai, Kerrie Barry, Anna Lipzen, Jeremy Schmutz, Gerald Tuskan, Jin-Gui Chen, Wellington Muchero

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Plant establishment requires the formation and development of an extensive root system with architecture modulated by complex genetic networks. Here, we report the identification of the PtrXB38 gene as an expression quantitative trait loci (eQTL) hotspot, mapped using 390 leaf and 444 xylem Populus trichocarpa transcriptomes. Among predicted targets of this trans-eQTL were genes involved in plant hormone responses and root development. Overexpression of PtrXB38 in Populus led to significant increases in callusing and formation of both stem-born roots and base-born adventitious roots. Omics studies revealed that genes and proteins controlling auxin transport and signaling were involved in PtrXB38-mediated adventitious root formation. Protein–protein interaction assays indicated that PtrXB38 interacts with components of endosomal sorting complexes required for transport machinery, implying that PtrXB38-regulated root development may be mediated by regulating endocytosis pathway. Taken together, this work identified a crucial root development regulator and sheds light on the discovery of other plant developmental regulators through combining eQTL mapping and omics approaches.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)2248-2264
Number of pages17
JournalNew Phytologist
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Authors New Phytologist © 2023 New Phytologist Foundation.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-2800-87173


  • auxin signaling
  • developmental regulator
  • expression quantitative trait loci (eQTLs)
  • Populus
  • PtrXB38
  • stem-born root formation


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