To gain a better understanding of gene expression in bamboo (Bambusa edulis Murno), we have used a combination of suppressive subtractive hybridization (SSH), microarray hybridization analysis, sequencing, and bioinformatics to identify bamboo genes differentially expressed in a bamboo albino mutant. Ten expressed sequence tags (ESTs) were found to be differentially expressed; these were isolated and sequenced. RT-PCR analysis of these ESTs supported the results of the microarray analysis. Six ESTs that were nucleus-encoded exhibited differential expression patterns in the green wild-type bamboo relative to the albino mutant. These genes (exception being the Rubisco small subunit) were non-photosynthesis-related genes. The development of a specific SSH cDNA library in which most of the chloroplast-encoded or photosynthesis-related genes had been subtracted proved to be useful for studying the function of non-photosynthesis-related genes in the albino bamboo mutants with aberrant chloroplast genome. The combined use of this SSH library with microarray analysis will provide a powerful analytical tool for future studies of the bamboo genome.
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