Genome-wide identification, characterisation and expression analysis of the MADS-box gene family in Prunus mume

Zongda Xu, Qixiang Zhang, Lidan Sun, Dongliang Du, Tangren Cheng, Huitang Pan, Weiru Yang, Jia Wang
Molecular Genetics and Genomics: MGG 2014, 289 (5): 903-20
MADS-box genes encode transcription factors that play crucial roles in plant development, especially in flower and fruit development. To gain insight into this gene family in Prunus mume, an important ornamental and fruit plant in East Asia, and to elucidate their roles in flower organ determination and fruit development, we performed a genome-wide identification, characterisation and expression analysis of MADS-box genes in this Rosaceae tree. In this study, 80 MADS-box genes were identified in P. mume and categorised into MIKC, Mα, Mβ, Mγ and Mδ groups based on gene structures and phylogenetic relationships. The MIKC group could be further classified into 12 subfamilies. The FLC subfamily was absent in P. mume and the six tandemly arranged DAM genes might experience a species-specific evolution process in P. mume. The MADS-box gene family might experience an evolution process from MIKC genes to Mδ genes to Mα, Mβ and Mγ genes. The expression analysis suggests that P. mume MADS-box genes have diverse functions in P. mume development and the functions of duplicated genes diverged after the duplication events. In addition to its involvement in the development of female gametophytes, type I genes also play roles in male gametophytes development. In conclusion, this study adds to our understanding of the roles that the MADS-box genes played in flower and fruit development and lays a foundation for selecting candidate genes for functional studies in P. mume and other species. Furthermore, this study also provides a basis to study the evolution of the MADS-box family.


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