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1.  Transcriptional profiling of bud dormancy induction and release in oak by next-generation sequencing 
BMC Genomics  2013;14:236.
Background
In temperate regions, the time lag between vegetative bud burst and bud set determines the duration of the growing season of trees (i.e. the duration of wood biomass production). Dormancy, the period during which the plant is not growing, allows trees to avoid cold injury resulting from exposure to low temperatures. An understanding of the molecular machinery controlling the shift between these two phenological states is of key importance in the context of climatic change. The objective of this study was to identify genes upregulated during endo- and ecodormancy, the two main stages of bud dormancy. Sessile oak is a widely distributed European white oak species. A forcing test on young trees was first carried out to identify the period most likely to correspond to these two stages. Total RNA was then extracted from apical buds displaying endo- and ecodormancy. This RNA was used for the generation of cDNA libraries, and in-depth transcriptome characterization was performed with 454 FLX pyrosequencing technology.
Results
Pyrosequencing produced a total of 495,915 reads. The data were cleaned, duplicated reads removed, and sequences were mapped onto the oak UniGene data. Digital gene expression analysis was performed, with both R statistics and the R-Bioconductor packages (edgeR and DESeq), on 6,471 contigs with read numbers ≥ 5 within any contigs. The number of sequences displaying significant differences in expression level (read abundance) between endo- and ecodormancy conditions ranged from 75 to 161, depending on the algorithm used. 13 genes displaying significant differences between conditions were selected for further analysis, and 11 of these genes, including those for glutathione-S-transferase (GST) and dehydrin xero2 (XERO2) were validated by quantitative PCR.
Conclusions
The identification and functional annotation of differentially expressed genes involved in the “response to abscisic acid”, “response to cold stress” and “response to oxidative stress” categories constitutes a major step towards characterization of the molecular network underlying vegetative bud dormancy, an important life history trait of long-lived organisms.
doi:10.1186/1471-2164-14-236
PMCID: PMC3639946  PMID: 23575249
2.  Bioinformatic analysis of ESTs collected by Sanger and pyrosequencing methods for a keystone forest tree species: oak 
BMC Genomics  2010;11:650.
Background
The Fagaceae family comprises about 1,000 woody species worldwide. About half belong to the Quercus family. These oaks are often a source of raw material for biomass wood and fiber. Pedunculate and sessile oaks, are among the most important deciduous forest tree species in Europe. Despite their ecological and economical importance, very few genomic resources have yet been generated for these species. Here, we describe the development of an EST catalogue that will support ecosystem genomics studies, where geneticists, ecophysiologists, molecular biologists and ecologists join their efforts for understanding, monitoring and predicting functional genetic diversity.
Results
We generated 145,827 sequence reads from 20 cDNA libraries using the Sanger method. Unexploitable chromatograms and quality checking lead us to eliminate 19,941 sequences. Finally a total of 125,925 ESTs were retained from 111,361 cDNA clones. Pyrosequencing was also conducted for 14 libraries, generating 1,948,579 reads, from which 370,566 sequences (19.0%) were eliminated, resulting in 1,578,192 sequences. Following clustering and assembly using TGICL pipeline, 1,704,117 EST sequences collapsed into 69,154 tentative contigs and 153,517 singletons, providing 222,671 non-redundant sequences (including alternative transcripts). We also assembled the sequences using MIRA and PartiGene software and compared the three unigene sets. Gene ontology annotation was then assigned to 29,303 unigene elements. Blast search against the SWISS-PROT database revealed putative homologs for 32,810 (14.7%) unigene elements, but more extensive search with Pfam, Refseq_protein, Refseq_RNA and eight gene indices revealed homology for 67.4% of them. The EST catalogue was examined for putative homologs of candidate genes involved in bud phenology, cuticle formation, phenylpropanoids biosynthesis and cell wall formation. Our results suggest a good coverage of genes involved in these traits. Comparative orthologous sequences (COS) with other plant gene models were identified and allow to unravel the oak paleo-history. Simple sequence repeats (SSRs) and single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were searched, resulting in 52,834 SSRs and 36,411 SNPs. All of these are available through the Oak Contig Browser http://genotoul-contigbrowser.toulouse.inra.fr:9092/Quercus_robur/index.html.
Conclusions
This genomic resource provides a unique tool to discover genes of interest, study the oak transcriptome, and develop new markers to investigate functional diversity in natural populations.
doi:10.1186/1471-2164-11-650
PMCID: PMC3017864  PMID: 21092232

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