To understand the molecular basis of the endodormancy of buds of perennial plants, we searched for the genes that are expressed preferentially in endodormant lateral buds of the deciduous fruit tree japanese apricot (Prunus mume Sieb. et Zucc.) using suppression subtractive hybridization with mirror orientation selection (SSH/MOS). We generated two SSH/MOS libraries containing gene pools that are expressed preferentially in endodormant buds in comparison with paradormant or ecodormant buds to search for the genes that are upregulated by endodormancy induction or down-regulated by endodormancy release, respectively. Differential screening and sequencing indicated that genes involved in gibberellin metabolism, stress resistance, cell wall modification, and signal transduction, such as transcription factors, are upregulated in endodormant buds. After a further expression survey and full-length cDNA cloning, we found that a gene similar to the SVP/AGL24-type MADS-box transcription factor showed endodormancy-associated expression. Seasonal expression analysis suggested that the SVP/AGL24 homolog in japanese apricot might be involved in endodormancy regulation of its lateral buds.