OFDM PON has been considered to be one of the most prominent next-generation broadband wired access solutions. However, based on the current tree-architecture, existing OFDM PON systems face severe challenges when increasing the scalability and data-rate performance. In this paper, we propose a novel virtual-tree architecture of an OFDMA PON system (VTOPS). Coupled with the use of inexpensive direct modulation, VTOPS simultaneously achieves high reliability, scalability, and spectrum efficiency (i.e., high data rate) in a cost-effective manner. Theoretical and experimental results demonstrate that, by applying the pre-emphasis algorithm and subchannel adaptive modulation, VTOPS achieves 40-Gb/s downlink and uplink transmissions using low-cost 10-GHz directly modulated lasers.