Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Concept: Peach


The influence of seven plum rootstocks (Adesoto, Monpol, Montizo, Puebla de Soto 67 AD, PM 105 AD, St. Julien GF 655/2 and Constantí 1) on individual and total sugars, as well as on antioxidant content in fruit flesh of “Catherine” peaches, was evaluated for three years. Agronomical and basic fruit quality parameters were also determined. At twelve years after budding, significant differences were found between rootstocks for the different agronomic and fruit quality traits evaluated. The Pollizo plum rootstocks Adesoto and PM 105 AD seem to induce higher sweetness to peach fruits, based on soluble solids content, individual (sucrose, fructose and sorbitol) and total sugars. A clear tendency was also observed with the rootstock Adesoto, inducing the highest content of phenolics, flavonoids, vitamin C and relative antioxidant capacity (RAC). Thus, the results of this study demonstrate the significant effect of rootstock on the sugar profile and phytochemical characteristics of peach fruits. In addition, this work shows the importance of the sugar profile, because specific sugars play an important role in peach flavour quality, as well as the studied phytochemical compounds when looking for high quality peaches with enhanced health properties.

Concepts: Nutrition, Glucose, Antioxidant, Fruit, Sugar, Fructose, Peach, Sucrose


Peach (Prunus persica L.) is a highly valuable crop species and is recognized by molecular researchers as a model fruit for the Rosaceae family. Using whole-genome sequencing data generated from 129 peach accessions, here we perform a comprehensive genome-wide association study for 12 key agronomic traits. We show that among the 10 qualitative traits investigated, nine exhibit consistent and more precise association signals than previously identified by linkage analysis. For two of the qualitative traits, we describe candidate genes, one potentially involved in cell death and another predicted to encode an auxin-efflux carrier, that are highly associated with fruit shape and non-acidity, respectively. Furthermore, we find that several genomic regions harbouring association signals for fruit weight and soluble solid content overlapped with predicted selective sweeps that occurred during peach domestication and improvement. Our findings contribute to the large-scale characterization of genes controlling agronomic traits in peach.

Concepts: Genetics, Prunus, Peach, Rosaceae, Drupe, Cherry, Apricot, Prunoideae


Fruits are the defining feature of angiosperms, likely have contributed to angiosperm successes by protecting and dispersing seeds, and provide foods to humans and other animals, with many morphological types and important ecological and agricultural implications. Rosaceae is a family with ~3000 species and an extraordinary spectrum of distinct fruits, including fleshy peach, apple, and strawberry prized by their consumers, as well as dry achenetum and follicetum with features facilitating seed dispersal, excellent for studying fruit evolution. To address Rosaceae fruit evolution and other questions, we generated 125 new transcriptome and genomic datasets and identified hundreds of nuclear genes to reconstruct a well-resolved Rosaceae phylogeny with highly supported monophyly of all subfamilies and tribes. Molecular clock analysis revealed an estimated age of ~101.6 Mya for crown Rosaceae and divergence times of tribes and genera, providing a geological and climate context for fruit evolution. Phylogenomic analysis yielded strong evidence for numerous whole genome duplications (WGDs), supporting the hypothesis that the apple tribe had a WGD and revealing another one shared by fleshy fruit-bearing members of this tribe, with moderate support for WGDs in the peach tribe and other groups. Ancestral character reconstruction for fruit types supports independent origins of fleshy fruits from dry-fruit ancestors, including the evolution of drupes (e.g., peach) and pomes (e.g., apple) from follicetum, and drupetum (raspberry and blackberry) from achenetum. We propose that WGDs and environmental factors, including animals, contributed to the evolution of the many fruits in Rosaceae, which provide a foundation for understanding fruit evolution.

Concepts: Evolution, Genome, Species, Fruit, Seed, Peach, Rosaceae, Apple


Peach (Prunus persica, Rosaceae) is an extremely popular tree fruit worldwide, with an annual production near 20 million tons. Peach is widely thought to have origins in China, but its evolutionary history is largely unknown. The oldest evidence for the peach has been Chinese archaeological records dating to 8000-7000 BP. Here, we report eight fossil peach endocarps from late Pliocene strata of Kunming City, Yunnan, southwestern China. The fossils are identical to modern peach endocarps, including size comparable to smaller modern varieties, a single seed, a deep dorsal groove, and presence of deep pits and furrows. These fossils show that China has been a critical region for peach evolution since long before human presence, much less agriculture. Peaches evolved their modern morphology under natural selection, presumably involving large, frugivorous mammals such as primates. Much later, peach size and variety increased through domestication and breeding.

Concepts: Evolution, Yunnan, Kunming, Prunus, Peach, Rosaceae, Paleontology, Apricot


BackgroundRecently, many studies utilizing next generation sequencing have investigated plant evolution and domestication in annual crops. Peach, Prunus persica, is a typical perennial fruit crop that has ornamental and edible varieties. Unlike other fruit crops, cultivated peach includes a large number of phenotypes but few polymorphisms. In this study, we explore the genetic basis of domestication in peach and the influence of humans on its evolution.ResultsWe perform large-scale resequencing of 10 wild and 74 cultivated peach varieties, including 9 ornamental, 23 breeding, and 42 landrace lines. We identify 4.6 million SNPs, a large number of which could explain the phenotypic variation in cultivated peach. Population analysis shows a single domestication event, the speciation of P. persica from wild peach. Ornamental and edible peach both belong to P. persica, along with another geographically separated subgroup, P. ferganensis.We identify 147 and 262 genes under edible and ornamental selection, respectively. Some of these genes are associated with important biological features. We perform a population heterozygosity analysis in different plants that indicates that free recombination effects could affect domestication history. By applying artificial selection during the domestication of the peach and facilitating its asexual propagation, humans have caused a sharp decline of the heterozygote ratio of SNPs.ConclusionsOur analyses enhance our knowledge of the domestication history of perennial fruit crops, and the dataset we generated could be useful for future research on comparative population genomics.

Concepts: Gene, Genetics, Natural selection, Agriculture, Evolution, Prunus, Peach, Rosaceae


Although Colletotrichum acutatum was recently investigated and shown to be a species complex comprising about 30 species, the name is still used in its broad sense for anthracnose pathogens of fruits in Brazil. In this study, a multilocus molecular analysis was carried out based on a dataset of ITS, HIS3, GAPDH, CHS-1, TUB2 and ACT sequences of Colletotrichum strains belonging to the C. acutatum species complex from fruits collected in different regions in Brazil combined with sequences of ex-type and other reference strains of species belonging to this complex. The strains were revealed to belong to Colletotrichum nymphaeae, Colletotrichum melonis, Colletotrichum abscissum and one new species, namely Colletotrichum paranaense, from apple and peach. Morphological descriptions of the new species and a strain closely related to but diverging from C. melonis are provided. From the data presently available, the most common species on apple fruits in Brazil is C. nymphaeae. In a pathogenicity test, strains of all four species caused lesions on detached apple, peach and guava fruits, except for strain CBS 134730 that did not infect guava fruits.

Concepts: Species, Fruit, Seed, Peach, Rosaceae, Apple, Colletotrichum, Colletotrichum acutatum


Halyomorpha halys (Stål) (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae) is an invasive and polyphagous herbivore that has been problematic in Mid-Atlantic fruit orchards, many of which are adjacent to woodlands containing its wild hosts. Our tree census in woodlands bordering 15 Mid-Atlantic apple orchards revealed 47 species of deciduous trees and shrubs, 76.6% of which were recorded hosts of H. halys Tree of heaven was most common and abundant overall. Halyomorpha halys nymphs have a substantial walking dispersal capacity, and their fitness is enhanced by feeding on multiple hosts. Directional and temporal patterns of nymphal H. halys movement on selected wild hosts and apple and peach trees at the orchard-woodland interface were monitored in 2014 and 2015 using passive traps to capture nymphs walking up and down tree trunks. Weekly captures from mid-May to late September or mid-October were compared among hosts across both seasons. Despite higher total nymphal captures in 2014 than 2015, the seasonal trends for both years were similar and indicated bivoltine H. halys populations. In both years, more nymphs were intercepted while walking up than down and captures of upward- and downward-walking nymphs varied significantly among the hosts. All instars were captured, but captures of second instars predominated. Captures reflected seasonal changes in instar distribution and consisted predominantly of younger and older nymphs, early and later in the season, respectively. Results are discussed in relation to host and seasonal effects on the movement of nymphs at the orchard-woodland interface, and the implications for H. halys management.

Concepts: Plant, Tree, Season, Fruit, Peach, Trees, Apple, Orchard


Hypoxia under general anaesthesia is a potentially life-threatening condition. A seemingly well 67-year-old man appeared hypoxic with peripheral pulse oximetric measurement during routine anaesthesia. Postoperatively, the patient admitted to daily self-prescription of apricot kernel extract for a period of 5 years. Apricot kernel is a commonly taken extract used for a range of ailments, and is associated with cyanide toxicity, which was confirmed through blood analysis. Our explanation for the hypoxic measurement was the presence of free cyanide interfering with functioning of the peripheral pulse oximeter. On cessation of the apricot kernel extract, peripheral oxygen saturations returned to normal. Cardiac and respiratory causes together with rare haemoglobinopathies were excluded. This case illustrates how chronic dosing of complementary medicines can result in harmful toxicities, which may carry potential for serious consequences and how these chronic toxicities may present to physicians in atypical ways.

Concepts: Hemoglobin, Oxygen, Medicine, Blood, Hypoxia, Carbon monoxide poisoning, Peach, Cyanide poisoning


The tumor growth inhibition and anti-metastatic effects of peach polyphenolics were investigated in vivo using a xenograft model and MDA-MB-435 breast cancer cells. Results showed that tumor growth and lung metastasis were inhibited in vivo by peach polyphenolics in a dose range of 0.8-1.6 mg/day, and these effects were mediated by inhibition of metalloproteinases gene expression. Modulation of metalloproteinase-2, metalloproteinase-3 and metalloproteinase-13 gene expression may be some of the molecular targets for anti-metastatic activity of peach polyphenolics. Therefore, these compounds may constitute a novel chemopreventive tool to reduce the risk of metastasis in the combination therapy when primary cancer is diagnosed. Conversion to equivalent human intake for future clinical studies using the body surface area normalization method gave a dose of ~370.6 mg/day for a human adult of 60 kg, which can be supplied by consuming two to three peach fruit per day or alternatively using a dietary supplement peach polyphenol extract powder.

Concepts: DNA, Gene expression, Cancer, Breast cancer, Metastasis, Oncology, Chemotherapy, Peach


The domesticated almond [Prunus dulcis (L.) Batsch] and peach [P. persica (Mill.) D. A. Webb] originate on opposite sides of Asia and were independently domesticated approximately 5000 years ago. While interfertile, they possess alternate mating systems and differ in a number of morphological and physiological traits. Here we evaluated patterns of genome-wide diversity in both almond and peach to better understand the impacts of mating system, adaptation, and domestication on the evolution of these taxa. Almond has ~7X the genetic diversity of peach, and high genome-wide FST values support their status as separate species. We estimated a divergence time of approximately 8 Mya, coinciding with an active period of uplift in the northeast Tibetan Plateau and subsequent Asian climate change. We see no evidence of bottleneck during domestication of either species, but identify a number of regions showing signatures of selection during domestication and a significant overlap in candidate regions between peach and almond. While we expected gene expression in fruit to overlap with candidate selected regions, instead we find enrichment for loci highly differentiated between the species, consistent with recent fossil evidence suggesting fruit divergence long preceded domestication. Taken together this study tells us how closely related tree species evolve and are domesticated, the impact of these events on their genomes, and the utility of genomic information for long-lived species. Further exploration of this data will contribute to the genetic knowledge of these species and provide information regarding targets of selection for breeding application and further the understanding of evolution in these species.

Concepts: Gene, Genetics, Evolution, Prunus, Peach, Rosaceae, Drupe, Apricot