Network-based integration of systems genetics data reveals lignocellulosic metabolic pathways

WoodNBDIEucalypts are fast-growing trees increasingly exploited for pulp, paper, bioenergy and other wood-based products. Using genetics tools and a network-based data integration (NBDI) approach, Mizrachi et al. explore a segregating Eucalyptus hybrid population for genes and pathways underlying biomass / bioenergy traits. Their analysis produced an expression QTL (eQTL) map and molecular networks associated with various traits such as wood density and lignin content. Furthermore, they were able to link genes to complex traits, opening the door to the genetic improvement of plant biomass to support a sustainable, bio-based economy. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 10.1073/pnas.1620119114