Peach (Prunus persica) is a model species for the Rosaceae, which includes a number of economically important fruit tree species. To develop an extensive Prunus expressed sequence tag (EST) database for identifying and cloning the genes important to fruit and tree development, we generated 9,984 high-quality ESTs from a peach cDNA library of developing fruit mesocarp. After assembly and annotation, a putative peach unigene set consisting of 3,842 ESTs was defined. Gene ontology (GO) classification was assigned based on the annotation of the single "best hit" match against the Swiss-Prot database. No significant homology could be found in the GenBank nr databases for 24.3% of the sequences. Using core markers from the general Prunus genetic map, we anchored bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) clones on the genetic map, thereby providing a framework for the construction of a physical and transcript map. A transcript map was developed by hybridizing 1,236 ESTs from the putative peach unigene set and an additional 68 peach cDNA clones against the peach BAC library. Hybridizing ESTs to genetically anchored BACs immediately localized 11.2% of the ESTs on the genetic map. ESTs showed a clustering of expressed genes in defined regions of the linkage groups. [The data were built into a regularly updated Genome Database for Rosaceae (GDR), available at ( http://www.genome.clemson.edu/gdr/ ).]. © Springer-Verlag 2005.