FABI researchers unravel Eucalyptus tree genomics and biology

Posted on May 13, 2015

Researchers and postgraduate students from the Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute (FABI) and the Genomics Research Institute (GRI) at the University of Pretoria contributed to eight articles in a special issue of the journal, New Phytologist. These articles cover diverse topics, such as genome diversity, comparative genomics, carbon allocation, protein evolution, floral development and woody biomass production in Eucalyptus trees.

New Phytologist published a special online issue, celebrating the completion of the Eucalyptus genome, the results of which were published in the prestigious journal, Nature, in June 2014. The special issue of New Phytologist (June 2015) contains genome companion papers, which further unfold into the unique biology of Eucalyptus trees, gained from the analysis of the genome.

Prof Zander Myburg, Prof Dave Berger, Dr Eshchar Mizrachi, Dr Steven Hussey from FABI and GRI and their postgraduate students contributed to the eight articles (listed below). This set of papers represents a significant advance in the understanding of the biology of the most widely planted hardwood fibre crop in the world. Together with the completed genome Populus, this genome resource will serve as a model and reference for the study of fast-growing woody plants that are used as renewable feed stocks for a growing number of bio-based products, such as timber, pulp, paper, cellulose, textiles, pharmaceuticals and bioenergy.


Strauss SH, Myburg AA. (2015) Plant scientists celebrate new woody plant genome. New Phytologist 206(4):1185-1187. 10.1111/nph.13053

Carocha V, Soler M, Hefer CA, Cassan-Wang H, Fevereiro P, Myburg AA, Paiva JAP, Grima-Pettenati J. (2015) Genome-wide analysis of the lignin toolbox of Eucalyptus grandis. New Phytologist 206(4):1297-1313. 10.1111/nph.13313

Kersting AR, Mizrachi E, Bornberg-Bauer E, Myburg AA. (2014) Protein domain evolution is associated with reproductive diversification and adaptive radiation in the genus Eucalyptus. New Phytologist 204(6):1328-1336. 10.1111/nph.13211

Hussey SG, Saïdi MN, Hefer C, Myburg AA, Grima-Pettenati J. (2014) Structural, evolutionary and functional analysis of the NAC domain protein family in Eucalyptus. New Phytologist 206(4):1337-1350. 10.1111/nph.13139

Mizrachi E, Maloney VJ, Silberbauer J, Hefer CA, Berger DK, Mansfield SD, Myburg AA. (2014) Investigating the molecular underpinnings underlying morphology and changes in carbon partitioning during tension wood formation in Eucalyptus. New Phytologist 204(6):1351-1363. 10.1111/nph.13152

Soler M, Myburg AA, Paiva JAP, Hefer CA, Savelli B, Clemente HS, Cassan-Wang H, Carocha V, Camargo ELO, Grima-Pettenati J. (2015) The Eucalyptus grandis R2R3-MYB transcription factor family: evidence for woody growth-related evolution and function. New Phytologist 206(4):1364–1377. 10.1111/nph.13039

Hudson CJ, Freeman JS, Myburg AA, Potts BM, Vaillancourt RE. (2015) Genomic patterns of species diversity and divergence in Eucalyptus. New Phytologist 204(6):1378-1390. 10.1111/nph.13316

Hefer CA, Mizrachi E, Myburg AA, Douglas CJ, Mansfield SD. (2015) Comparative interrogation of the developing xylem transcriptomes of two woodforming species: Populus trichocarpa and Eucalyptus grandis. New Phytologist 204(6):1391-1405. 10.1111/nph.13277



- Author FABI

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