BMC Genomics 19 (1) 11 [2018-01-03; online 2018-01-03]
Secretory Carrier-Associated Membrane Proteins (SCAMPs) are highly conserved 32-38 kDa proteins that are involved in membrane trafficking. A systems approach was taken to elucidate function of SCAMPs in wood formation of Populus trees. Phenotypic and multi-omics analyses were performed in woody tissues of transgenic Populus trees carrying an RNAi construct for Populus tremula x tremuloides SCAMP3 (PttSCAMP3; Potri.019G104000). The woody tissues of the transgenic trees displayed increased amounts of both polysaccharides and lignin oligomers, indicating increased deposition of both the carbohydrate and lignin components of the secondary cell walls. This coincided with a tendency towards increased wood density as well as significantly increased thickness of the suberized cork in the transgenic lines. Multivariate OnPLS (orthogonal projections to latent structures) modeling of five different omics datasets (the transcriptome, proteome, GC-MS metabolome, LC-MS metabolome and pyrolysis-GC/MS metabolome) collected from the secondary xylem tissues of the stem revealed systemic variation in the different variables in the transgenic lines, including changes that correlated with the changes in the secondary cell wall composition. The OnPLS model also identified a rather large number of proteins that were more abundant in the transgenic lines than in the wild type. Several of these were related to secretion and/or endocytosis as well as both primary and secondary cell wall biosynthesis. Populus SCAMP proteins were shown to influence accumulation of secondary cell wall components, including polysaccharides and phenolic compounds, in the woody tissues of Populus tree stems. Our multi-omics analyses combined with the OnPLS modelling suggest that this function is mediated by changes in membrane trafficking to fine-tune the abundance of cell wall precursors and/or proteins involved in cell wall biosynthesis and transport. The data provides a multi-level source of information for future studies on the function of the SCAMP proteins in plant stem tissues.