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J Exp Bot. 2009;60(12):3521-30. doi: 10.1093/jxb/erp195. Epub 2009 Jun 24.

Dormancy-associated MADS genes from the EVG locus of peach [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch] have distinct seasonal and photoperiodic expression patterns.

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  • 1Department of Horticulture, 152 Poole Agricultural Center, Clemson University, Clemson, SC 29634-0319, USA.

Abstract

Mapping and sequencing of the non-dormant evg mutant in peach [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch] identified six tandem-arrayed DAM (dormancy-associated MADS-box) genes as candidates for regulating growth cessation and terminal bud formation. To narrow the list of candidate genes, an attempt was made to associate bud phenology with the seasonal and environmental patterns of expression of the candidates in wild-type trees. The expression of the six peach DAM genes at the EVG locus of peach was characterized throughout an annual growing cycle in the field, and under controlled conditions in response to a long day-short day photoperiod transition. DAM1, 2, 4, 5, and 6 were responsive to a reduction in photoperiod in controlled conditions and the direction of response correlated with the seasonal timing of expression in field-grown trees. DAM3 did not respond to photoperiod and may be regulated by chilling temperatures. The DAM genes in peach appear to have at least four distinct patterns of expression. DAM1, 2, and 4 are temporally associated with seasonal elongation cessation and bud formation and are the most likely candidates for control of the evg phenotype.

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