Genome-wide analysis of the AP2/ERF superfamily in peach (Prunus persica)

C H Zhang, L F Shangguan, R J Ma, X Sun, R Tao, L Guo, N K Korir, M L Yu
Genetics and Molecular Research: GMR 2012 October 17, 11 (4): 4789-809
We identified 131 AP2/ERF (APETALA2/ethylene-responsive factor) genes in material from peach using the gene sequences of AP2/ERF amino acids of Arabidopsis thaliana (Brassicaceae) as probes. Based on the number of AP2/ERF domains and individual gene characteristics, the AP2/ERF superfamily gene in peach can be classified broadly into three families, ERF (ethylene-responsive factor), RAV (related to ABI3/VP1), and AP2 (APETALA2), containing 104, 5, and 21 members, respectively, along with a solo gene (ppa005376m). The 104 genes in the ERF family were further divided into 11 groups based on the group classification made for Arabidopsis. The scaffold localizations of the AP2/ERF genes indicated that 129 AP2/ERF genes were all located on scaffolds 1 to 8, except for two genes, which were on scaffolds 17 and 10. Although the primary structure varied among AP2/ERF superfamily proteins, their tertiary structures were similar. Most ERF family genes have no introns, while members of the AP2 family have more introns than genes in the ERF and RAV families. All sequences of AP2 family genes were disrupted by introns into several segments of varying sizes. The expression of the AP2/ERF superfamily genes was highest in the mesocarp; it was far higher than in the other seven tissues that we examined, implying that AP2/ERF superfamily genes play an important role in fruit growth and development in the peach. These results will be useful for selecting candidate genes from specific subgroups for functional analysis.

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