Open Access Open Badges Research article

An integrative “omics” approach identifies new candidate genes to impact aroma volatiles in peach fruit

Gerardo Sánchez12*, Mónica Venegas-Calerón3, Joaquín J Salas3, Antonio Monforte1, María L Badenes4 and Antonio Granell1*

Author affiliations

1 Instituto de Biología Molecular y Celular de Plantas (IBMCP), Ingeniero Fausto Elio s/n, Valencia 46022, Spain

2 Instituto Nacional de Tecnología Agropecuaria (INTA), Ruta N°9 Km 170, San Pedro 2930, Argentine

3 Instituto de la Grasa (IG-CSIC), Av. Padre García Tejero, 4, Sevilla 41012, Spain

4 Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Agrarias (IVIA), Carretera Moncada-Náquera, Km 4,5, Valencia, Náquera 46113, Spain

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Citation and License

BMC Genomics 2013, 14:343  doi:10.1186/1471-2164-14-343

Published: 23 May 2013



Ever since the recent completion of the peach genome, the focus of genetic research in this area has turned to the identification of genes related to important traits, such as fruit aroma volatiles. Of the over 100 volatile compounds described in peach, lactones most likely have the strongest effect on fruit aroma, while esters, terpenoids, and aldehydes have minor, yet significant effects. The identification of key genes underlying the production of aroma compounds is of interest for any fruit-quality improvement strategy.


Volatile (52 compounds) and gene expression (4348 genes) levels were profiled in peach fruit from a maturity time-course series belonging to two peach genotypes that showed considerable differences in maturation characteristics and postharvest ripening. This data set was analyzed by complementary correlation-based approaches to discover the genes related to the main aroma-contributing compounds: lactones, esters, and phenolic volatiles, among others. As a case study, one of the candidate genes was cloned and expressed in yeast to show specificity as an ω-6 Oleate desaturase, which may be involved in the production of a precursor of lactones/esters.


Our approach revealed a set of genes (an alcohol acyl transferase, fatty acid desaturases, transcription factors, protein kinases, cytochromes, etc.) that are highly associated with peach fruit volatiles, and which could prove useful in breeding or for biotechnological purposes.