, Volume 5, Issue 3, pp 377-391
Date: 25 Nov 2008

Comparative analysis of expressed sequence tags from tissues in ripening stages of peach (Prunus persica L. Batsch)

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Expressed sequence tag (EST) represents a resource for gene discovery, genome annotation and comparative genomics in plants. ESTs were derived by sequencing clones from five libraries created from two different fruit tissues (skin and mesocarp), at four ripening stages (from post-allegation to post-climacteric) in three different genotypes of peach (OroA, Bolero and Suncrest). A total of 10,847 EST sequences were produced (dataset A); in addition, 21,857 peach ESTs (dataset B) were obtained from public databases. Clustering and assembly of both datasets gave 17,858 unigenes. Analysis of the sequences allowed the assignment of a putative function to 70.8% of the ESTs. In order to define the relationship among fruit tissues transcriptome, a gene ontology analysis was performed. Differences among organs and among different maturation stages of the same organs were identified in organelle, signal transducer and antioxidant activity. A distance matrix of pairwise correlation coefficients analysis was applied between the libraries. Shoot appeared to outgroup and our analysis proved to be an efficient tool to parallel and complement gene expression studies (for example, based on microarray analysis). We conducted an analysis of the frequency of genes putatively involved in the metabolism of some volatiles, which pointed to a predominant presence of those transcripts in the skin. The metabolic pathways of esters and lactones were selected for further isolation and cloning of key genes. The EST database is available at the web site www.itb.cnr.it/estree.

Communicated by: R. Velasco