Identification of reference genes for RT-qPCR analysis in peach genotypes with contrasting chilling requirements.
Selecting and validating reference genes are the first steps in studying gene expression by reverse transcriptase-quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR). The present study aimed to evaluate the stability of five reference genes for the purpose of normalization when studying gene expression in various cultivars of Prunus persica with different chilling requirements. Flower bud tissues of nine peach genotypes from Embrapa's peach breeding program with different chilling requirements were used, and five candidate reference genes based on the RT-qPCR that were useful for studying the relative quantitative gene expression and stability were evaluated using geNorm, NormFinder, and bestKeeper software packages. The results indicated that among the genes tested, the most stable genes to be used as reference genes are Act and UBQ10. This study is the first survey of the stability of reference genes in peaches under chilling stress and provides guidelines for more accurate RT-qPCR results.