Refining the Genomic Region Containing a Major Locus Controlling Fruit Maturity in Peach
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Maturity date (MD), defined as the duration between the first calendar day of the year and maturity, and fruit development period (FDP), defined as the duration between full bloom and maturity, are highly variable in peach [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch]. There is a need to discover molecular markers associated with these traits in order to enhance the efficiency and reliability of breeding for extending the harvest season in peach. An association mapping population consisting of 132 peach accessions was phenotypically evaluated for MD and FDP, and genotypically characterized using the genotyping-by-sequencing (GBS) approach. The phenotypic and genotypic data collected were used to conduct a genome-wide association study (GWAS). The GWAS identified three SNPs on chromosome 4 that are significantly associated with both FDP and MD. These three SNPs covered a region of 43,067 bp; we referred to this region as the MD/FDP locus. Seven genes were identified in the MD/FDP locus. One or more of these genes is believed to regulate some aspect of maturity in peach. The data reported here is expected to aid in marker-assisted seedling selection (MASS) targeted towards widening peach germplasm for maturity, particularly early maturity.