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Concept: Phylloxera


Georgia, in the Caucasian region, is considered the first domestication centre of grapevine. This country is characterized by high morphological variability of cultivated (Vitis vinifera L. subsp. sativa (DC.) Hegi) and wild (Vitis vinifera L. subsp. sylvestris (Gmel.) Hegi) compartments. The main objective of this study was to investigate the level of genetic diversity obtained by the novel custom Vitis18kSNP array, in order to analyse 71 grapevine accessions representative of wild and cultivated Georgian germplasms.

Concepts: Population genetics, Vitis vinifera, Grape, Vitis, Vitaceae, Viticulture, Genetic diversity, Phylloxera


De novo heterozygous assembly is an ongoing challenge requiring improved assembly approaches. In this study, three strategies were used to develop de novo Vitis vinifera ‘Sultanina’ genome assemblies for comparison with the inbred V. vinifera (PN40024 12X.v2) reference genome and a published Sultanina ALLPATHS-LG assembly (AP). The strategies were: 1) a default PLATANUS assembly (PLAT_d) for direct comparison with AP assembly, 2) an iterative merging strategy using METASSEMBLER to combine PLAT_d and AP assemblies (MERGE) and 3) PLATANUS parameter modifications plus GapCloser (PLAT*_GC).

Concepts: Vitis vinifera, Grape, Vitis, Vitaceae, Viticulture, Phylloxera, Merge, Combine


Grapevine (Vitis vinifera L.) is routinely grafted and rootstocks inducing drought tolerance represent a source for adapting vineyards to climate change in temperate areas. Our goal was to investigate drought stress effects on miRNA abundance in a drought-resistant grapevine rootstock, M4 (Vitis vinifera X Vitis berlandieri), compared with a commercial cultivar, Cabernet Sauvignon (CS), by using their auto- and reciprocal grafts. RNA extracted from roots and leaves of droughted and irrigated plants of different graft combinations was used to prepare cDNA libraries for small RNA sequencing, and to analyse miRNAs by Real Time PCR (RT-qPCR). Measurements of leaf water potential, leaf gas exchange and root hydraulic conductance attested that under irrigation M4 reduced water loss in comparison to CS mostly through non-hydraulic, root-specific mechanisms. Under drought, stomatal conductance decreased at similar levels in the two genotypes. Small RNA sequencing allowed the identification of 70 conserved miRNAs and the prediction of 28 novel miRNAs. Different accumulation trends of miRNAs, observed upon drought and in different genotypes and organs, were confirmed by RT-qPCR. Corresponding target transcripts, predicted in silico and validated by RT-qPCR, often showed opposite expression profiles than the related miRNAs. Drought effects on miRNA abundance differed between the two genotypes. Furthermore, the concentration of drought-responsive miRNAs in each genotype was affected by reciprocal grafting, suggesting either movement of signals inducing miRNA expression in the graft partner or possibly miRNA transport between scion and rootstock. These results open new perspectives in the selection of rootstocks for improving grapevine adaptation to drought.

Concepts: DNA, Gene, Molecular biology, Grafting, Plant reproduction, Vitis, Vitaceae, Phylloxera


Drought-acclimated vines maintained higher gas exchange compared to irrigated controls under water deficit; this effect is associated with modified leaf turgor but not with improved petiole vulnerability to cavitation. A key feature for the prosperity of plants under changing environments is the plasticity of their hydraulic system. In the present research we studied the hydraulic regulation in grapevines (Vitis vinifera L.) that were first acclimated for 39 days to well-watered (WW), sustained water deficit (SD), or transient-cycles of dehydration-rehydration-water deficit (TD) conditions, and then subjected to varying degrees of drought. Vine development under SD led to the smallest leaves and petioles, but the TD vines had the smallest mean xylem vessel and calculated specific conductivity (k ts). Unexpectedly, both the water deficit acclimation treatments resulted in vines more vulnerable to cavitation in comparison to WW, possibly as a result of developmental differences or cavitation fatigue. When exposed to drought, the SD vines maintained the highest stomatal (g s) and leaf conductance (k leaf) under low stem water potential (Ψs), despite their high xylem vulnerability and in agreement with their lower turgor loss point (ΨTLP). These findings suggest that the down-regulation of k leaf and g s is not associated with embolism, and the ability of drought-acclimated vines to maintain hydraulic conductance and gas exchange under stressed conditions is more likely associated with the leaf turgor and membrane permeability.

Concepts: Plant physiology, Vitis vinifera, Leaf, Grape, Vitis, Vitaceae, Viticulture, Phylloxera


The main objective of this study was to determine growth, yield and fruit quality of grapevines under organic and biodynamic management in relation to integrated viticultural practices. Furthermore, the mechanisms for the observed changes in growth, yield and fruit quality were investigated by determining nutrient status, physiological performance of the plants and disease incidence on bunches in three consecutive growing seasons. A field trial (Vitis vinifera L. cv. Riesling) was set up at Hochschule Geisenheim University, Germany. The integrated treatment was managed according to the code of good practice. Organic and biodynamic plots were managed according to Regulation (EC) No 834/2007 and Regulation (EC) No 889/2008 and according to ECOVIN- and Demeter-Standards, respectively. The growth and yield of the grapevines differed strongly among the different management systems, whereas fruit quality was not affected by the management system. The organic and the biodynamic treatments showed significantly lower growth and yield in comparison to the integrated treatment. The physiological performance was significantly lower in the organic and the biodynamic systems, which may account for differences in growth and cluster weight and might therefore induce lower yields of the respective treatments. Soil management and fertilization strategy could be responsible factors for these changes. Yields of the organic and the biodynamic treatments partially decreased due to higher disease incidence of downy mildew. The organic and the biodynamic plant protection strategies that exclude the use of synthetic fungicides are likely to induce higher disease incidence and might partially account for differences in the nutrient status of vines under organic and biodynamic management. Use of the biodynamic preparations had little influence on vine growth and yield. Due to the investigation of important parameters that induce changes especially in growth and yield of grapevines under organic and biodynamic management the study can potentially provide guidance for defining more effective farming systems.

Concepts: Vitis vinifera, Grape, Vitis, Vitaceae, Viticulture, Phylloxera, Vine, Annual growth cycle of grapevines


Grapevine (Vitis vinifera L.) is one of the classical fruits of the Old World. Among the thousands of domesticated grapevine varieties and variable wild sylvestris populations, the range of variation in pip morphology is very wide. In this study we scanned representative samples of grape pip populations, in an attempt to probe the possibility of using the 3D tool for grape variety identification. The scanning was followed by mathematical and statistical analysis using innovative algorithms from the field of computer sciences. Using selected Fourier coefficients, a very clear separation was obtained between most of the varieties, with only very few overlaps. These results show that this method enables the separation between different Vitis vinifera varieties. Interestingly, when using the 3D approach to analyze couples of varieties, considered synonyms by the standard 22 SSR analysis approach, we found that the varieties in two of the considered synonym couples were clearly separated by the morphological analysis. This work, therefore, suggests a new systematic tool for high resolution variety discrimination.

Concepts: Vitis vinifera, Grape, Vitis, Vitaceae, Viticulture, Phylloxera, Grape varieties, Vitis labrusca


Proline (Pro) accumulation protects plant cell under abiotic stress. Hydroxyproline (Hyp) as selection agent is a toxic analog of proline and promotes Pro overaccumulation. In this study, Chardonnay calli were firstly irradiated with different dosages of60Co and then cultured on a Hyp-added medium. Finally, some stable hydroxyproline-resistant (HR) calli were obtained. When calli were cultured on 4 mM Hyp medium for 7 days, intracellular Pro content of the HR calli was five times higher than that detected in the normal calli. The regeneration of HR calli into plantlets was much slower than that of normal ones. When cultured on woody plant medium (WPM) containing 10 mM NaCl for 14 days, HR plantlets still grew well with lower Pro than withered normal plantlets. qRT-PCR results of Pro biosynthesis-related genes in HR plantlets showed that three genes VvP5CS, VvOAT, and VvP5CDH were conducive for Pro accumulation. These results confirmed that HR plantlets acquired salt tolerance ability. We prospect that this procedure to obtain salt-tolerant plants may be valuable to breed programs and improve grapevine genotypes with increased tolerance to salt and other abiotic stresses.

Concepts: Cell, Cell wall, Vitis vinifera, Plants, Grape, Vitis, Vitaceae, Phylloxera


Grapevine is among the fruit crops with high economic value, and because of the economic losses caused by abiotic stresses, the stress resistance of Vitis vinifera has become an increasingly important research area. Among the mechanisms responding to environmental stresses, the role of miRNA has received much attention recently. qRT-PCR is a powerful method for miRNA quantitation, but the accuracy of the method strongly depends on the appropriate reference genes. To determine the most suitable reference genes for grapevine miRNA qRT-PCR, 15 genes were chosen as candidate reference genes. After eliminating 6 candidate reference genes with unsatisfactory amplification efficiency, the expression stability of the remaining candidate reference genes under salinity, cold and drought was analysed using four algorithms, geNorm, NormFinder, deltaCt and Bestkeeper. The results indicated that U6 snRNA was the most suitable reference gene under salinity and cold stresses; whereas miR168 was the best for drought stress. The best reference gene sets for salinity, cold and drought stresses were miR160e + miR164a, miR160e + miR168 and ACT + UBQ + GAPDH, respectively. The selected reference genes or gene sets were verified using miR319 or miR408 as the target gene.

Concepts: Gene, Gene expression, RNA, Vitis vinifera, Grape, Vitis, Vitaceae, Phylloxera


The principal purpose of the present work is to characterize the aroma, aroma-active, and anthocyanin profiles of Okuzgozu wines and to observe the effect of the pomace pressing technique on these parameters. A total of 58 and 59 volatile compounds were identified and quantified in free-run juice wine (FRW) and pressed pomace wine (PW). Alcohols were found as the most dominant group among aroma compounds followed by esters and acids. However, among all these compounds only 11 and 13 of them could be considered as key odorants in aromatic extracts of FRW and PW, respectively. According to GC-MS-O analysis, ethyl octanoate (fruity), phenyl ethyl acetate (fruity) and 2-phenyl ethanol (flowery) were found as the main contributors to the overall scent of both wines. Beyond the aroma profiles, anthocyanin contents of both types of wines were also investigated and total 14 and 15 anthocyanins were identified and quantified in FRW and PW. Malvidin-3-glycoside and its acetyl and coumaroyl forms were identified as the dominant anthocyanins in both wines. It is worth noting the pressing application (2.0 atm) led to an increase of some unpleasant notes in the aroma providing chemical, pharmacy, and fermented aromas in wine. On the other hand, the wines produced with pressed pomace presented higher amounts of anthocyanins.

Concepts: Ethanol, Vitis vinifera, Wine, Fermentation, Grape, Winemaking, Phylloxera, Wine tasting descriptors


Plant parasitic nematodes, including root knot nematode Meloidogyne species, cause extensive damage to agriculture and horticultural crops. As Vitis vinifera cultivars are susceptible to root knot nematode parasitism, rootstocks resistant to these soil pests provide a sustainable approach to maintain grapevine production. Currently, most of the commercially available root knot nematode resistant rootstocks are highly vigorous and take up excess potassium, which reduces wine quality. As a result, there is a pressing need to breed new root knot nematode resistant rootstocks, which have no impact on wine quality. To develop molecular markers that predict root knot nematode resistance for marker assisted breeding, a genetic approach was employed to identify a root knot nematode resistance locus in grapevine. To this end, a Meloidogyne javanica resistant Vitis cinerea accession was crossed to a susceptible Vitis vinifera cultivar Riesling and results from screening the F1 individuals support a model that root knot nematode resistance, is conferred by a single dominant allele, referred as MELOIDOGYNE JAVANICA RESISTANCE1 (MJR1). Further, MJR1 resistance appears to be mediated by a hypersensitive response that occurs in the root apical meristem. Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were identified using genotyping-by-sequencing and results from association and genetic mapping identified the MJR1 locus, which is located on chromosome 18 in the Vitis cinerea accession. Validation of the SNPs linked to the MJR1 locus using a Sequenom MassARRAY platform found that only 50% could be validated. The validated SNPs that flank and co-segregate with the MJR1 locus can be used for marker-assisted selection for Meloidogyne javanica resistance in grapevine.

Concepts: DNA, Gene, Plant, Nematode, Vitis, Vitaceae, Phylloxera, Root-knot nematode