Background: Ethylene response factors (ERFs) perform diverse functions in fruit development, ripening and senescence. However, the effects of postharvest treatments on ERF genes have not been widely investigated due to the lack of peach ERF genomic information. The aim of this study was to investigate the ERF genes' expression of freshly harvested peach during storage after 1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP) treatment.
Methods: 10 μL L-1 1-MCP was used to fumigate peaches. Treated peaches and control peaches were stored at 20°C for 9 days. Fruit firmness, ethylene production and the transcript abundance of ERFs were evaluated during storage.
Results: 127 AP2/ERF genes were identified genome using RNA-sequencing (RNA-seq). Expression profiles of 39 ERF genes were considered at day 0, 3, 5 and 7. Results showed that 1-MCP inhibited some ERF genes' expression (e.g., Prupe.5G117800), some genes were generally up-regulated responding to 1-MCP (e.g., Prupe.6G039700), while the other ERF genes displayed no significant difference between the two groups (e.g., Prupe.1G130300).
Conclusions: These data revealed that peach ERF genes perform diverse functions during fruit growth, ripening and senescence. The different responses of ERF genes to postharvest 1-MCP treatment may be useful to understand the roles of ethylene and ERF genes in controlling technological aspects of postharvest peach conservation.
Keywords: ERF; RNA-seq; fruit; gene expression; postharvest treatment; storage.