Fall Applications of Ethephon Modulates Gene Networks Controlling Bud Development during Dormancy in Peach (Prunus Persica)

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2022-06-18

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MDPI

Abstract

Ethephon (ET) is an ethylene-releasing plant growth regulator (PGR) that can delay the bloom time in Prunus, thus reducing the risk of spring frost, which is exacerbated by global climate change. However, the adoption of ET is hindered by its detrimental effects on tree health. Little knowledge is available regarding the mechanism of how ET shifts dormancy and flowering phenology in peach. This study aimed to further characterize the dormancy regulation network at the transcriptional level by profiling the gene expression of dormant peach buds from ET-treated and untreated trees using RNA-Seq data. The results revealed that ET triggered stress responses during endodormancy, delaying biological processes related to cell division and intercellular transportation, which are essential for the floral organ development. During ecodormancy, ET mainly impeded pathways related to antioxidants and cell wall formation, both of which are closely associated with dormancy release and budburst. In contrast, the expression of dormancy-associated MADS (DAM) genes remained relatively unaffected by ET, suggesting their conserved nature. The findings of this study signify the importance of floral organogenesis during dormancy and shed light on several key processes that are subject to the influence of ET, therefore opening up new avenues for the development of effective strategies to mitigate frost risks.

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Liu, J.; Islam, M.T.; Laliberte, S.; Haak, D.C.; Sherif, S.M. Fall Applications of Ethephon Modulates Gene Networks Controlling Bud Development during Dormancy in Peach (Prunus Persica). Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23, 6801.