Genome-Wide Identification of the Aux/IAA Family Genes (MdIAA) and Functional Analysis of MdIAA18 for Apple Tree Ideotype

  • Limin Wang
  • Ke Xu
  • Yongzhou Li
  • Wenbo Cai
  • Yanan Zhao
  • Boyang Yu
  • Yuandi ZhuEmail author
Original Article


The Aux/IAA (auxin/indole-3-acetic acid) gene family is one of the early auxin-responsive gene families, which play a central role in auxin response. Few reports are involved in Aux/IAA genes in fruit trees, especially in apple (Malus × domestica Borkh.). A total of 33 MdIAA members were identified, of which 27 members contained four conserved domains, whereas the others lost one or two conserved domains. Several cis-elements in promoters of MdIAAs were predicted responsive to hormones and abiotic stress. Tissue-specific expression patterns of MdIAAs in different apple tree ideotypes were investigated by quantitative real-time PCR. A large number of MdIAAs were highly expressed in leaf buds and reproductive organs, and MdIAAs clustered in same group showed similar expression profiles. Overexpression of MdIAA18 in Arabidopsis resulted in compact phenotype. These results indicated that MdIAA genes may be involved in vegetative and reproductive growth of apple. Taken together, the results provide useful clues to reveal the function of MdIAAs in apple and control apple tree architecture by manipulation of MdIAAs.


Malus × domestica Borkh. MdIAA Auxin-responsive genes Plant architecture 



The financial support of this work was from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Project No. 31672109). The authors thank Emma Tacken, Ph.D., from Liwen Bianji, Edanz Group China (, for editing the English text of a draft of this manuscript.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Supplementary material

10528_2019_9919_MOESM1_ESM.tif (576 kb)
Supplementary file1 (TIFF 577 kb). Figure S1 Gene structure of MdIAAs. The orange boxes represent the exons and the black lines represent the introns.
10528_2019_9919_MOESM2_ESM.tif (17 mb)
Supplementary file2 (TIFF 17428 kb). Figure S2 Phenotypes of MdIAA18-ox Arabidopsis at one-month growth after seedling transplanting.
10528_2019_9919_MOESM3_ESM.docx (19 kb)
Supplementary file3 (DOCX 19 kb). Table S1 The primers of MdIAA family genes.
10528_2019_9919_MOESM4_ESM.docx (20 kb)
Supplementary file4 (DOCX 20 kb). Table S2 The sister pairs of MdIAAs.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Pomology, College of HorticultureChina Agricultural UniversityBeijingPeople’s Republic of China

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