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Concept: Vitaceae


BACKGROUND: Vegetative buds provide plants in temperate environments the possibility for growth and reproduction when environmental conditions are favorable. In grapevine, crucial developmental events take place within buds during two growing seasons in consecutive years. The first season, the shoot apical meristem within the bud differentiates all the basic elements of the shoot including flowering transition in lateral primordia and development of inflorescence primordia. These events practically end with bud dormancy. The second season, buds resume shoot growth associated to flower formation and development. Gene expression has been previously monitored at specific stages of bud development but has never been followed along the two growing seasons. RESULTS: Gene expression changes were analyzed along the bud annual cycle at eight different time points. Principal Components Analysis (PCA) revealed that the main factors explaining the global gene expression differences were the processes of bud dormancy and active growth as well as stress responses. Accordingly, non dormant buds showed an enrichment in functional categories typical of actively proliferating and growing cells together with the over abundance of transcripts belonging to stress response pathways. Differential expression analyses performed between consecutive time points indicated that major transcriptional changes were associated to para/endodormancy, endo/ecodormancy and ecodormancy/bud break transitions. Transcripts encoding key regulators of reproductive development were grouped in three major expression clusters corresponding to: (i) transcripts associated to flowering induction, (ii) transcripts associated to flower meristem specification and initiation and (iii) transcripts putatively involved in dormancy. Within this cluster, a MADS-box gene (VvFLC2) and other transcripts with similar expression patterns could participate in dormancy regulation. CONCLUSIONS: This work provides a global view of major transcriptional changes taking place along bud development in grapevine, highlighting those molecular and biological functions involved in the main events of bud development. As reported in other woody species, the results suggest that genes regulating flowering could also be involved in dormancy regulatory pathways in grapevine.

Concepts: DNA, Gene, Gene expression, Cellular differentiation, Plant physiology, Vitis vinifera, Vitis, Vitaceae


BACKGROUND: Resveratrol is an important stilbene that benefits human health. However, it is only distributed in a few species including grape and is very expensive. At present, grape has been an important source resveratrol. However, the details are scarce on resveratrol distribution in different Vitis species or cultivars. METHODOLOGYPRINCIPAL FINDING: The composition and content of resveratrols were investigated by HPLC for assessing genotypic variation in berry skins and leaves of 75 grape cultivars, belonging to 3 species and 7 interspecific hybrids. Trans-resveratrol, cis-piceid and trans-piceid were detected in berry skins and leaves, but cis-resveratrol was not. Resveratrol content largely varied with genetic background as well as usage. In most cultivars, total resveratrol including the above three compounds was higher in berry skins than leaves. In berry skins of most cultivars and leaves of almost all cultivars, cis-piceid was the most abundant resveratrol; trans-resveratrol and trans-piceid were minor components. Some specific cultivars were found with extremely high levels of trans-resveratrol, cis- piceid, trans-piceid or total resveratrols in berry skins or leaves. In skins and leaves, rootstock cultivars had a higher content of total resveratrols, and the cultivated European type cultivars and their hybrids with V. labrusca had relatively low totals. There were no significant correlations of the amounts of total resveratrols or any individual resveratrol between berry skins and leaves. All 75 cultivars can be divided into four groups based on the composition of resveratrols and their concentration by principal component analysis. CONCLUSION: Resveratrol content of grape berries and leaves varied largely with their genetic background and usage. Rootstock cultivars had a higher content of total resveratrols than the other germplasm. Total resveratrols were lower in leaves than berry skins in most cultivars. Cis-piceid was the most abundant resveratrol in most cultivars, and trans-res and trans-pd were minor components.

Concepts: Vitis vinifera, Resveratrol, Grape, Vitis, Vitaceae, Vitis riparia, Vitis labrusca, Muscadine


Endophytes proved to exert multiple effects on host plants, including growth promotion, stress resistance. However, whether endophytes have a role in metabolites shaping of grape has not been fully understood. Eight endophytic fungal strains which originally isolated from grapevines were re-inoculated to field-grown grapevines in this study, and their effects on both leaves and berries of grapevines at maturity stage were assessed, with special focused on secondary metabolites and antioxidant activities. High-density inoculation of all these endophytic fungal strains modified the physio-chemical status of grapevine to different degrees. Fungal inoculations promoted the content of reducing sugar (RS), total flavonoids (TF), total phenols (TPh), trans-resveratrol (Res) and activities of phenylalanine ammonia-lyase (PAL), in both leaves and berries of grapevine. Inoculation of endophytic fungal strains, CXB-11 (Nigrospora sp.) and CXC-13 (Fusarium sp.) conferred greater promotion effects in grape metabolic re-shaping, compared to other used fungal strains. Additionally, inoculation of different strains of fungal endophytes led to establish different metabolites patterns of wine grape. The work implies the possibility of using endophytic fungi as fine-tuning regulator to shape the quality and character of wine grape.

Concepts: Fungus, Vitis vinifera, Grape, Vitis, Vitaceae, Vitis riparia, Endophyte, Muscadine


Abstract: In this study, ten clones of Vitis vinifera Cabernet franc (not yet commercial) have been phenotyped on precocity, grape composition and assessment of wine quality made by micro vinification in 2008, 2009 and 2010. Additionally, two original criteria have been considered: concentration of 3-isobutyl-2-methoxypyrazine in grapes and wines (the green bell pepper flavor) and resistance of grapevines to downy mildew (Plasmopara viticola) by stilbene quantification upon infection. Precocity of veraison varied up to four days at veraison. Berry size and yield were highly variable among clones. However, these variables were not correlated. Tanins and anthocyanins varied among clones in grapes and wines. Variations in grape and wine IBMP were not significant. Some clones showed lower susceptibility for downy mildew on leaves. Lower susceptibility was linked to a higher production of stilbenic phytoalexins involved in downy mildew resistance mechanisms.

Concepts: Vitis vinifera, Wine, Grape, Vitis, Vitaceae, Viticulture, Vitis riparia, Cabernet Sauvignon


Grapevine leafroll disease (GLRD) is one of the most economically important virus diseases of grapevine (Vitis spp.) worldwide. In this study, we used high-throughput sequencing of cDNA libraries made from small RNAs (sRNAs) to compare profiles of sRNA populations recovered from own-rooted Merlot grapevines with and without GLRD symptoms. The data revealed the presence of sRNAs specific to Grapevine leafroll-associated virus 3, Hop stunt viroid (HpSVd), Grapevine yellow speckle viroid 1 (GYSVd-1) and Grapevine yellow speckle viroid 2 (GYSVd-2) in symptomatic grapevines and sRNAs specific only to HpSVd, GYSVd-1 and GYSVd-2 in nonsymptomatic grapevines. In addition to 135 previously identified conserved microRNAs in grapevine (Vvi-miRs), we identified 10 novel and several candidate Vvi-miRs in both symptomatic and nonsymptomatic grapevine leaves based on the cloning of miRNA star sequences. Quantitative real-time reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) of selected conserved Vvi-miRs indicated that individual members of an miRNA family are differentially expressed in symptomatic and nonsymptomatic leaves. The high-resolution mapping of sRNAs specific to an ampelovirus and three viroids in mixed infections, the identification of novel Vvi-miRs and the modulation of certain conserved Vvi-miRs offers resources for the further elucidation of compatible host-pathogen interactions and for the provision of ecologically relevant information to better understand host-pathogen-environment interactions in a perennial fruit crop.

Concepts: DNA, RNA, Vitis vinifera, Grape, Vitis, Vitaceae, Viticulture, Phylloxera


We present stilbenoid profiles of canes from sixteen grapevines. Fifteen stilbenoids were obtained through either isolation and structure identification using MS, NMR, and [α](D) or commercial standards. An HPLC-UV method for the simultaneous quantification of nine of these stilbenoids was developed and applied to canes of V. amurensis, V. arizonica, V. berlandieri, V. betulifolia, V. cinerea, V. x champini, V. x doaniana, V. labrusca, V. candicans (syn. V. mustangensis), V. riparia, V. rupestris, V. vinifera, Muscadinia rotundifolia, and a V. vinifera x M. rotundifolia hybrid. In these species, ampelopsin E, amurensin B, piceid, piceatannol, resveratrol, resveratroloside, ε-viniferin, ω-viniferin, and E-vitisin B were quantified, when found in sufficient amounts. Total concentrations ranged from ~2.2 to 19.5 g/kg dry weight. Additional stilbenoids, ampelopsin, 3,5,4'-trihydroxystilbene 2-C-glucoside, ampelopsin E, Z-trans-miyabenol C, E-trans-miyabenol C, scirpusin A, and Z-vitisin B, were identified, but not quantified. Our results indicate that canes, particularly those of non-vinifera species, have substantial quantities of valuable, health promoting stilbenoids.

Concepts: Resveratrol, Grape, Vitis, Vitaceae, Muscadine, Stilbenoid, Piceatannol, Piceid


This study analyses the effect of the crude enzymatic extract produced by Kluyveromyces marxianus (EEB) in the maceration and clarification of juice produced from Ives (Vitis labrusca) grapes compared to the commercial enzyme preparation Pectinex(®)Ultra Color (PEC). Treatments were conducted with a total pectinolytic activity of 1 U/mL of fruit juice, at 40 °C, for 60 min. After the enzymatic treatment, the juices were evaluated with respect to yield, viscosity, and degree of clarification, as well as the effect of the enzymes on polyphenol concentration, anthocyanins, and juice color. The results showed that both EEB and PEC increase yield, reduce viscosity and contribute to the clarification of grape juice. After enzyme treatment with the EEB preparation, the extraction yield increased 28.02 % and decreased 50.70 % in viscosity during the maceration of the pulp. During the juice production process clarification increased 11.91 %. With PEC, higher values for these parameters: 42.36, 63.20, and 26.81 % respectively, were achieved. The addition of EEB resulted in grape juice with better color intensity and extraction of phenolic compounds and anthocyanins. Considering all comparison criteria, the enzymatic extract of K. marxianus NRRL-Y-7571 can potentially be used in the production of juice.

Concepts: Enzyme, Grape, Vitis, Vitaceae, Juice, Anthocyanin, Vitis labrusca, Maceration


We gathered genomic data from grapes (Vitis vinifera ssp. vinifera), a clonally propagated perennial crop, to address three ongoing mysteries about plant domestication. The first is the duration of domestication; archaeological evidence suggests that domestication occurs over millennia, but genetic evidence indicates that it can occur rapidly. We estimated that our wild and cultivated grape samples diverged ∼22,000 years ago and that the cultivated lineage experienced a steady decline in population size (Ne ) thereafter. The long decline may reflect low-intensity management by humans before domestication. The second mystery is the identification of genes that contribute to domestication phenotypes. In cultivated grapes, we identified candidate-selected genes that function in sugar metabolism, flower development, and stress responses. In contrast, candidate-selected genes in the wild sample were limited to abiotic and biotic stress responses. A genomic region of high divergence corresponded to the sex determination region and included a candidate male sterility factor and additional genes with sex-specific expression. The third mystery concerns the cost of domestication. Annual crops accumulate putatively deleterious variants, in part due to strong domestication bottlenecks. The domestication of perennial crops differs from that of annuals in several ways, including the intensity of bottlenecks, and it is not yet clear if they accumulate deleterious variants. We found that grape accessions contained 5.2% more deleterious variants than wild individuals, and these were more often in a heterozygous state. Using forward simulations, we confirm that clonal propagation leads to the accumulation of recessive deleterious mutations but without decreasing fitness.

Concepts: Gene, Genetics, Evolution, Annual plant, Vitis vinifera, Grape, Vitis, Vitaceae


Grapevine (Vitis vinifera), one of the most important fruit species in the Classical Mediterranean world, is thought to have been domesticated first in South-Western Asia, during the Neolithic. However, the domestication process remains largely unknown. Crucial unanswered questions concern the duration of the process (rapid or slow?) and the related geographical area (single or multiple-origins?). Seeds from domesticated grapevine and from its wild ancestor are reported to differ according to shape. Our work aims, first, to confirm this difference and secondly to identify the extent of domestication in the grapes cultivated by Romans in Southern France during the period 50 BCE-500 CE. We had the opportunity to analyze uncharred waterlogged grape pips from 17 archaeological sites. Based on an extended reference sample of modern wild grapevines and cultivars our work shows that both subspecies can be discriminated using simple measurements. The elongation gradient of the pip’s body and stalk may be regarded as an indicator of the strength of the selection pressures undergone by domesticated grapes. Grapevines cultivated during the Roman period included a mix of morphotypes comprising wild, intermediate and moderately selected domesticated forms. Our data point to a relative shift towards more selected types during the Roman period. Domestication of the grapevine appears to have been a slow process. This could result from the recurrent incorporation into cultivation of plants originating from sexual reproduction, when grape cultivation essentially relies on vegetative propagation.

Concepts: Vitis vinifera, Wine, Grape, Vitis, Vitaceae, Viticulture, Roman Empire


Vinification of grapes (Vitis vinifera) exposed to forest fire smoke can yield unpalatable wine due to the presence of taint compounds from smoke and the release of smoke derived volatiles from their respective glycosides during the fermentation process or in-mouth during consumption. To identify glycosyltransferases (GTs) involved in the formation of glycosidically bound smoke-derived volatiles we performed gene expression analysis of candidate GTs in different grapevine tissues. Secondly, substrates derived from bushfire smoke or naturally occurring in grapes were screened with the candidate recombinant GTs. A resveratrol GT (UGT72B27) gene, highly expressed in grapevine leaves and berries was identified to be responsible for the production of the phenolic glucosides. UGT72B27 converted the stilbene trans-resveratrol mainly to the 3-O-glucoside. Kinetic analyses yielded specificity constants (kcat/KM) of 114, 17, 9, 8 and 2 mM-1 s-1 for guaiacol, trans-resveratrol, syringol, methylsyringol and methylguaiacol, respectively. This knowledge will help to design strategies for managing the risk of producing smoke-affected wines.

Concepts: Gene expression, Vitis vinifera, Wine, Grape, Vitis, Vitaceae, Viticulture, Muscadine