Aldehyde dehydrogenases (ALDHs) represent a protein superfamily encoding NAD(P)(+)-dependent enzymes that oxidize a wide range of endogenous and exogenous aliphatic and aromatic aldehydes. In plants, they are involved in many biological processes and play a role in the response to environmental stress. In this study, a total of 39 ALDH genes from ten families were identified in the apple (Malus × domestica Borkh.) genome. Synteny analysis of the apple ALDH (MdALDH) genes indicated that segmental and tandem duplications, as well as whole genome duplications, have likely contributed to the expansion and evolution of these gene families in apple. Moreover, synteny analysis between apple and Arabidopsis demonstrated that several MdALDH genes were found in the corresponding syntenic blocks of Arabidopsis, suggesting that these genes appeared before the divergence of lineages that led to apple and Arabidopsis. In addition, phylogenetic analysis, as well as comparisons of exon-intron and protein structures, provided further insight into both their evolutionary relationships and their putative functions. Tissue-specific expression analysis of the MdALDH genes demonstrated diverse spatiotemporal expression patterns, while their expression profiles under abiotic stress and various hormone treatments indicated that many MdALDH genes were responsive to high salinity and drought, as well as different plant hormones. This genome-wide identification, as well as characterization of evolutionary relationships and expression profiles, of the apple MdALDH genes will not only be useful for the further analysis of ALDH genes and their roles in stress response, but may also aid in the future improvement of apple stress tolerance.
Keywords: 1/2/3-days after re-watering; 48-h after re-watering; ABA; AGNC; ALDH; ALDH Gene Nomenclature Committee; Aldehyde dehydrogenase; Apple; Eth; Gene expression; MeJA; Phylogenetic analysis; R1/2/3 d; R48 h; RT-PCR; SA; Synteny analysis; abscisic acid; aldehyde dehydrogenase; ethylene; methyl jasmonate; reverse transcription PCR; salicylic acid.
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