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    Koa (Acacia koa) are tropical hardwoods endemic to the Hawaiian archipelago and a source of highly figured wood. Technological advancements, combined with our greater understanding of wood fiber development, allow us to use more in depth methods to study the figured wood phenomenon. This study represents the first transcriptomic analysis of figure formation in koa. Transcriptome profiles of figured and non-figured koa indicated that 19 genes were differentially expressed (DE) to a significant level (FDR < 0.05) between highly figured (HiFig), lightly figured (LoFig), and non-figured koa (NoFig) that were also involved in lignin biosynthesis, the phenylpropanoid pathway, jasmonate biosynthesis, and sucrose – starch synthesis. A total of 1,663 genes were identified where HiFig significantly differed from LoFig and NoFig at FDR < 0.05 and, at FDR < 0.01, the number was reduced to 958 candidate genes for further evaluation. Genes were further filtered at log2FC of +/- 2 in at least one pairwise comparison, resulting in a reduction from 1,663 and 958 to 341 and 221 genes. The direct role of any one transcript in generation of figure is not yet understood however, we note WAT1 and 5NG4 as candidates for future, more directed studies of the figured wood phenomenon.

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    ​Lawson, Shaneka S.; Bhide, Ketaki P.; Thimmapuram, Jyothi. 2018. RNAseq analysis of figured and non-figured Acacia koa wood. Current Trends in Forest Research. 2018(2): 100013. 21 p.


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    Acacia koa, Figured Wood, Lignin Biosynthesis, RNAseq, Transcriptomics

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