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Article|07 Oct 2022|OPEN
PpTCP18 is upregulated by lncRNA5 and controls branch number in peach (Prunus persica) through positive feedback regulation of strigolactone biosynthesis 
Xiaobei Wang1 ,† , Qiuping Wang1 ,† , Lixia Yan1 , Yuhang Hao1 , Xiaodong Lian1 , Haipeng Zhang1 , Xianbo Zheng1 , Jun Cheng1 , Wei Wang1 , Langlang Zhang1 , Xia Ye1 , Jidong Li2 , Bin Tan1 , and Jiancan Feng,1 ,
1College of Horticulture, Henan Agricultural University, 95 Wenhua Road, 450002, Zhengzhou, China
2College of Forestry, Henan Agricultural University, 95 Wenhua Road, 450002, Zhengzhou, China
*Corresponding author. E-mail:,
Both authors contributed equally to the study.

Horticulture Research 10,
Article number: uhac224 (2023)
Views: 328

Received: 27 Jan 2022
Accepted: 27 Sep 2022
Published online: 07 Oct 2022


Branch number is an important agronomic trait in peach (Prunus persica) trees because plant architecture affects fruit yield and quality. Although breeders can select varieties with different tree architecture, the biological mechanisms underlying architecture remain largely unclear. In this study, a pillar peach (‘Zhaoshouhong’) and a standard peach (‘Okubo’) were compared. ‘Zhaoshouhong’ was found to have significantly fewer secondary branches than ‘Okubo’. Treatment with the synthetic strigolactone (SL) GR24 decreased branch number. Transcriptome analysis indicated that PpTCP18 (a homologous gene of Arabidopsis thaliana BRC1) expression was negatively correlated with strigolactone synthesis gene expression, indicating that PpTCP18 may play an important role in peach branching. Yeast one-hybrid, electrophoretic mobility shift, dual-luciferase assays and PpTCP18-knockdown in peach leaf buds indicated that PpTCP18 could increase expression of PpLBO1, PpMAX1, and PpMAX4. Furthermore, transgenic Arabidopsis plants overexpressing PpTCP18 clearly exhibited reduced primary rosette-leaf branches. Moreover, lncRNA sequencing and transient expression analysis revealed that lncRNA5 targeted PpTCP18, significantly increasing PpTCP18 expression. These results provide insights into the mRNA and lncRNA network in the peach SL signaling pathway and indicate that PpTCP18, a transcription factor downstream of SL signaling, is involved in positive feedback regulation of SL biosynthesis. This role of PpTCP18 may represent a novel mechanism in peach branching regulation. Our study improves current understanding of the mechanisms underlying peach branching and provides theoretical support for genetic improvement of peach tree architecture.