Identification and expression analysis of 11 MADS-box genes in peach (Prunus persica var. nectarina ‘Luxing’)

MADS-box genes play a central role in the development of flowers in plants. In this study, 11 PpMADSs were isolated from ‘Luxing’ peach, and the expression levels were detected in different tissues and fruit development. Eleven PpMADSs, designated as PpMADS13, 14, 18, 23, 24, 25, 32, 33, 34, 35, and 39 were isolated. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that PpMADS13, 14, and 18 belonged to SVP, AGL15, and MIKC* group respectively; PpMADS23, 24, 25, and 39 were in the Mα group; PpMADS32, 33, 34, and 35 belonged to the Mγ group. Predictions from subcellular localization showed that 10 PpMADS were located in the nucleus. RT-PCR revealed that PpMADS13 was expressed in stems, leaves, and during fruit development (70d); PpMADS14 was expressed in sepals, stamens, petals, and during flower development; PpMADS18 was expressed in roots, stems, leaves, sepals, ovaries, stamens, petals, and during flower and fruit development; all MADS-box genes (expect for PpMADS33) in the Mα and Mγ group were expressed in roots, stems, leaves, sepals, ovaries, stamens, petals, and during flower development; few genes were expressed during fruit development. These results indicated that PpMADS may play a crucial regulatory role in vegetative growth and development processes of flowers and fruits in peaches.