Characterization and expression analysis of AGAMOUS-like, SEEDSTICK-like, and SEPALLATA-like MADS-box genes in peach (Prunus persica) fruit

Plant Physiol Biochem. 2009 Aug;47(8):690-700. doi: 10.1016/j.plaphy.2009.03.013. Epub 2009 Apr 9.


MADS-box genes encode transcriptional regulators that are critical for flowering, flower organogenesis and plant development. Although there are extensive reports on genes involved in flower organogenesis in model and economically important plant species, there are few reports on MADS-box genes in woody plants. In this study, we have cloned and characterized AGAMOUS (AG), SEEDSTICK (STK) and SEPALLATA (SEP) homologs from peach tree (Prunus persica L. Batsch) and studied their expression patterns in different tissues as well as in fruit pericarp during pit hardening. AG- STK- and SEP-like homologs, representative of the C-, D-, E-like MADS-box gene lineages, respectively, play key roles in stamen, carpel, ovule and fruit development in Arabidopsis thaliana. Sequence similarities, phylogenetic analysis and structural characteristics were used to provide classification of the isolated genes in type C (PPERAG), type D (PPERSTK) and type E (PPERSEP1, PPERSEP3, PPERFB9) organ identity genes. Expression patterns were determined and in combination with phylogenetic data provided useful indications on the function of these genes. These data suggest the involvement of MADS-box genes in peach flower and fruit development and provide further evidence for the role of these genes in woody perennial trees that is compatible with their function in model plant species.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Fruit
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Gene Expression*
  • Genes, Plant / genetics*
  • MADS Domain Proteins / genetics*
  • MADS Domain Proteins / metabolism
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Phylogeny
  • Plant Proteins / genetics*
  • Prunus / genetics*
  • Prunus / metabolism
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid


  • MADS Domain Proteins
  • Plant Proteins