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1.  Molecular characterization and impacts of a strain of Grapevine leafroll-associated virus 2 causing asymptomatic infection in a wine grape cultivar 
Virology Journal  2013;10:324.
Background
Grapevine leafroll (GLD) is considered as the most economically important virus disease affecting wine grapes (Vitis vinifera L.) in many grapevine-growing regions. GLD produces distinct symptoms in red- and white-berried cultivars. In this study, we determined the complete genome sequence of an asymptomatic strain of Grapevine leafroll-associated virus 2 (GLRaV-2) and studied its impacts on fruit yield and berry quality attributes in an own-rooted, red-berried wine grape cultivar.
Findings
The complete genome of GLRaV-2 obtained from a red-berried wine grape cultivar Sangiovese, designated as GLRaV-2-SG, was determined to be 16,474 nucleotides in length. In pairwise comparisons, using complete genome sequences of GLRaV-2 strains available in GenBank, GLRaV-2-SG was more closely related to GLRaV-2-OR1 from Oregon, USA, and GLRaV-2-93/955 from South Africa, and distantly related to GLRaV-2-BD from Italy and GLRaV-2-RG from USA. Fruit yield estimates and berry quality analysis at the time of commercial harvest indicated that GLRaV-2-SG had little impact on fruit yield and total soluble solids, juice pH and total anthocyanins of berry skin.
Conclusions
Because so little is known about the effects of asymptomatic virus infections in wine grapes, this study expanded our knowledge of the occurrence and impacts of GLRaV-2 causing asymptomatic infections. Our results indicated that an asymptomatic strain of GLRaV-2 may not cause significant effects to overall fruit yield and berry quality in own-rooted vines, but can affect its host in more subtle ways. Since disease symptoms are not apparent, relying on visual symptoms during disease surveys may result in the escape of asymptomatic strains of GLRaV-2. Thus, it is necessary to use appropriate diagnostic assays for reliable detection of viruses causing asymptomatic infections.
doi:10.1186/1743-422X-10-324
PMCID: PMC3828392  PMID: 24171725
2.  The grape berry-specific basic helix–loop–helix transcription factor VvCEB1 affects cell size 
Journal of Experimental Botany  2013;64(4):991-1003.
The development of fleshy fruits involves complex physiological and biochemical changes. After fertilization, fruit growth usually begins with cell division, continues with both cell division and expansion, allowing fruit set to occur, and ends with cell expansion only. In spite of the economical importance of grapevine, the molecular mechanisms controlling berry growth are not fully understood. The present work identified and characterized Vitis vinifera cell elongation bHLH protein (VvCEB1), a basic helix–loop–helix (bHLH) transcription factor controlling cell expansion in grape. VvCEB1 was expressed specifically in berry-expanding tissues with a maximum around veraison. The study of VvCEB1 promoter activity in tomato confirmed its specific fruit expression during the expansion phase. Overexpression of VvCEB1 in grape embryos showed that this protein stimulates cell expansion and affects the expression of genes involved in cell expansion, including genes of auxin metabolism and signalling. Taken together, these data show that VvCEB1 is a fruit-specific bHLH transcription factor involved in grape berry development.
doi:10.1093/jxb/ers374
PMCID: PMC3580811  PMID: 23314819
auxin; bHLH; cell expansion; fruit; grape; transcription factor.
3.  Grapevine Aquaporins: Gating of a Tonoplast Intrinsic Protein (TIP2;1) by Cytosolic pH 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(3):e33219.
Grapevine (Vitis vinifera L.) is one of the oldest and most important perennial crops being considered as a fruit ligneous tree model system in which the water status appears crucial for high fruit and wine quality, controlling productivity and alcohol level. V. vinifera genome contains 28 genes coding for aquaporins, which acting in a concerted and regulated manner appear relevant for plant withstanding extremely unfavorable drought conditions essential for the quality of berries and wine. Several Vv aquaporins have been reported to be expressed in roots, shoots, berries and leaves with clear cultivar differences in their expression level, making their in vivo biochemical characterization a difficult task. In this work V. vinifera cv. Touriga nacional VvTnPIP1;1, VvTnPIP2;2 and VvTnTIP2;1 were expressed in yeast and water transport activity was characterized in intact cells of the transformants. The three aquaporins were localized in the yeast plasma membrane but only VvTnTIP2;1 expression enhanced the water permeability with a concomitant decrease of the activation energy of water transport. Acidification of yeast cytosol resulted in loss of VvTnTIP2;1 activity. Sequence analysis revealed the presence of a His131 residue, unusual in TIPs. By site directed mutagenesis, replacement of this residue by aspartic acid or alanine resulted in loss of pHin dependence while replacement by lysine resulted in total loss of activity. In addition to characterization of VvTn aquaporins, these results shed light on the gating of a specific tonoplast aquaporin by cytosolic pH.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0033219
PMCID: PMC3299758  PMID: 22427995
4.  Water Deficit Increases Stilbene Metabolism in Cabernet Sauvignon Berries 
The impact of water deficit on stilbene biosynthesis in wine grape (Vitis vinifera) berries was investigated. Water deficit increased the accumulation of trans-piceid (the glycosylated form of resveratrol) by 5-fold in Cabernet Sauvignon berries but not in Chardonnay. Similarly, water deficit significantly increased the transcript abundance of genes involved in the biosynthesis of stilbene precursors in Cabernet Sauvignon. Increased expression of stilbene synthase, but not that of resveratrol-O-glycosyltransferase, resulted in increased trans-piceid concentrations. In contrast, the transcript abundance of the same genes declined in Chardonnay in response to water deficit. Twelve single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were identified in the promoters of stilbene synthase genes of Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, and Pinot Noir. These polymorphisms resulted in eight changes within the predicted cis regulatory elements in Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. These results suggest that cultivar-specific molecular mechanisms might exist that control resveratrol biosynthesis in grapes.
doi:10.1021/jf1024888
PMCID: PMC3015458  PMID: 21128664
Grape berry; stilbene synthase; stilbenes; Vitis vinifera; water deficit
5.  The peripheral xylem of grapevine (Vitis vinifera). 1. Structural integrity in post-veraison berries 
Journal of Experimental Botany  2008;59(8):1987-1996.
During the development of many fleshy fruits, water flow becomes progressively more phloemic and less xylemic. In grape (Vitis vinifera L.), the current hypothesis to explain this change is that the tracheary elements of the peripheral xylem break as a result of berry growth, rendering the xylem structurally discontinuous and hence non-functional. Recent work, however, has shown via apoplastic dye movement through the xylem of post-veraison berries that the xylem should remain structurally intact throughout berry development. To corroborate this, peripheral xylem structure in developing Chardonnay berries was investigated via maceration and plastic sectioning. Macerations revealed that, contrary to current belief, the xylem was comprised mostly of vessels with few tracheids. In cross-section, the tracheary elements of the vascular bundles formed almost parallel radial files, with later formed elements toward the epidermis and earlier formed elements toward the centre of the berry. Most tracheary elements remained intact throughout berry maturation, consistent with recent reports of vascular dye movement in post-veraison berries.
doi:10.1093/jxb/ern060
PMCID: PMC2413285  PMID: 18440931
Tracheary element; vasculature; vessel; water movement
6.  Molecular, genetic and transcriptional evidence for a role of VvAGL11 in stenospermocarpic seedlessness in grapevine 
BMC Plant Biology  2011;11:57.
Background
Stenospermocarpy is a mechanism through which certain genotypes of Vitis vinifera L. such as Sultanina produce berries with seeds reduced in size. Stenospermocarpy has not yet been characterized at the molecular level.
Results
Genetic and physical maps were integrated with the public genomic sequence of Vitis vinifera L. to improve QTL analysis for seedlessness and berry size in experimental progeny derived from a cross of two seedless genotypes. Major QTLs co-positioning for both traits on chromosome 18 defined a 92-kb confidence interval. Functional information from model species including Vitis suggested that VvAGL11, included in this confidence interval, might be the main positional candidate gene responsible for seed and berry development.
Characterization of VvAGL11 at the sequence level in the experimental progeny identified several SNPs and INDELs in both regulatory and coding regions. In association analyses performed over three seasons, these SNPs and INDELs explained up to 78% and 44% of the phenotypic variation in seed and berry weight, respectively. Moreover, genetic experiments indicated that the regulatory region has a larger effect on the phenotype than the coding region. Transcriptional analysis lent additional support to the putative role of VvAGL11's regulatory region, as its expression is abolished in seedless genotypes at key stages of seed development. These results transform VvAGL11 into a functional candidate gene for further analyses based on genetic transformation.
For breeding purposes, intragenic markers were tested individually for marker assisted selection, and the best markers were those closest to the transcription start site.
Conclusion
We propose that VvAGL11 is the major functional candidate gene for seedlessness, and we provide experimental evidence suggesting that the seedless phenotype might be caused by variations in its promoter region. Current knowledge of the function of its orthologous genes, its expression profile in Vitis varieties and the strong association between its sequence variation and the degree of seedlessness together indicate that the D-lineage MADS-box gene VvAGL11 corresponds to the Seed Development Inhibitor locus described earlier as a major locus for seedlessness. These results provide new hypotheses for further investigations of the molecular mechanisms involved in seed and berry development.
doi:10.1186/1471-2229-11-57
PMCID: PMC3076230  PMID: 21447172
7.  Rapid Genomic Characterization of the Genus Vitis 
PLoS ONE  2010;5(1):e8219.
Next-generation sequencing technologies promise to dramatically accelerate the use of genetic information for crop improvement by facilitating the genetic mapping of agriculturally important phenotypes. The first step in optimizing the design of genetic mapping studies involves large-scale polymorphism discovery and a subsequent genome-wide assessment of the population structure and pattern of linkage disequilibrium (LD) in the species of interest. In the present study, we provide such an assessment for the grapevine (genus Vitis), the world's most economically important fruit crop. Reduced representation libraries (RRLs) from 17 grape DNA samples (10 cultivated V. vinifera and 7 wild Vitis species) were sequenced with sequencing-by-synthesis technology. We developed heuristic approaches for SNP calling, identified hundreds of thousands of SNPs and validated a subset of these SNPs on a 9K genotyping array. We demonstrate that the 9K SNP array provides sufficient resolution to distinguish among V. vinifera cultivars, between V. vinifera and wild Vitis species, and even among diverse wild Vitis species. We show that there is substantial sharing of polymorphism between V. vinifera and wild Vitis species and find that genetic relationships among V. vinifera cultivars agree well with their proposed geographic origins using principal components analysis (PCA). Levels of LD in the domesticated grapevine are low even at short ranges, but LD persists above background levels to 3 kb. While genotyping arrays are useful for assessing population structure and the decay of LD across large numbers of samples, we suggest that whole-genome sequencing will become the genotyping method of choice for genome-wide genetic mapping studies in high-diversity plant species. This study demonstrates that we can move quickly towards genome-wide studies of crop species using next-generation sequencing. Our study sets the stage for future work in other high diversity crop species, and provides a significant enhancement to current genetic resources available to the grapevine genetic community.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0008219
PMCID: PMC2805708  PMID: 20084295
8.  Transcriptome analysis at four developmental stages of grape berry (Vitis vinifera cv. Shiraz) provides insights into regulated and coordinated gene expression 
BMC Genomics  2012;13:691.
Background
Vitis vinifera berry development is characterised by an initial phase where the fruit is small, hard and acidic, followed by a lag phase known as veraison. In the final phase, berries become larger, softer and sweeter and accumulate an array of organoleptic compounds. Since the physiological and biochemical makeup of grape berries at harvest has a profound impact on the characteristics of wine, there is great interest in characterising the molecular and biophysical changes that occur from flowering through veraison and ripening, including the coordination and temporal regulation of metabolic gene pathways. Advances in deep-sequencing technologies, combined with the availability of increasingly accurate V. vinifera genomic and transcriptomic data, have enabled us to carry out RNA-transcript expression analysis on a global scale at key points during berry development.
Results
A total of 162 million 100-base pair reads were generated from pooled Vitis vinifera (cv. Shiraz) berries sampled at 3-weeks post-anthesis, 10- and 11-weeks post-anthesis (corresponding to early and late veraison) and at 17-weeks post-anthesis (harvest). Mapping reads from each developmental stage (36-45 million) onto the NCBI RefSeq transcriptome of 23,720 V. vinifera mRNAs revealed that at least 75% of these transcripts were detected in each sample. RNA-Seq analysis uncovered 4,185 transcripts that were significantly upregulated at a single developmental stage, including 161 transcription factors. Clustering transcripts according to distinct patterns of transcription revealed coordination in metabolic pathways such as organic acid, stilbene and terpenoid metabolism. From the phenylpropanoid/stilbene biosynthetic pathway at least 46 transcripts were upregulated in ripe berries when compared to veraison and immature berries, and 12 terpene synthases were predominantly detected only in a single sample. Quantitative real-time PCR was used to validate the expression pattern of 12 differentially expressed genes from primary and secondary metabolic pathways.
Conclusions
In this study we report the global transcriptional profile of Shiraz grapes at key stages of development. We have undertaken a comprehensive analysis of gene families contributing to commercially important berry characteristics and present examples of co-regulation and differential gene expression. The data reported here will provide an invaluable resource for the on-going molecular investigation of wine grapes.
doi:10.1186/1471-2164-13-691
PMCID: PMC3545830  PMID: 23227855
Grapevine; Illumina; Shiraz; RNA-seq; Transcriptome
9.  Identification of mildew resistance in wild and cultivated Central Asian grape germplasm 
BMC Plant Biology  2013;13:149.
Background
Cultivated grapevines, Vitis vinifera subsp. sativa, evolved from their wild relative, V. vinifera subsp. sylvestris. They were domesticated in Central Asia in the absence of the powdery mildew fungus, Erysiphe necator, which is thought to have originated in North America. However, powdery mildew resistance has previously been discovered in two Central Asian cultivars and in Chinese Vitis species.
Results
A set of 380 unique genotypes were evaluated with data generated from 34 simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers. The set included 306 V. vinifera cultivars, 40 accessions of V. vinifera subsp. sylvestris, and 34 accessions of Vitis species from northern Pakistan, Afghanistan and China. Based on the presence of four SSR alleles previously identified as linked to the powdery mildew resistance locus, Ren1, 10 new mildew resistant genotypes were identified in the test set: eight were V. vinifera cultivars and two were V. vinifera subsp. sylvestris based on flower and seed morphology. Sequence comparison of a 620 bp region that includes the Ren1-linked allele (143 bp) of the co-segregating SSR marker SC8-0071-014, revealed that the ten newly identified genotypes have sequences that are essentially identical to the previously identified mildew resistant V. vinifera cultivars: ‘Kishmish vatkana’ and ‘Karadzhandal’. Kinship analysis determined that three of the newly identified powdery mildew resistant accessions had a relationship with ‘Kishmish vatkana’ and ‘Karadzhandal’, and that six were not related to any other accession in this study set. Clustering procedures assigned accessions into three groups: 1) Chinese species; 2) a mixed group of cultivated and wild V. vinifera; and 3) table grape cultivars, including nine of the powdery mildew resistant accessions. Gene flow was detected among the groups.
Conclusions
This study provides evidence that powdery mildew resistance is present in V. vinifera subsp. sylvestris, the dioecious wild progenitor of the cultivated grape. Four first-degree parent progeny relationships were discovered among the hermaphroditic powdery mildew resistant cultivars, supporting the existence of intentional grape breeding efforts. Although several Chinese grape species are resistant to powdery mildew, no direct genetic link to the resistance found in V. vinifera could be established.
doi:10.1186/1471-2229-13-149
PMCID: PMC3851849  PMID: 24093598
Powdery mildew resistance; Vitis vinifera subsp. sativa; Vitis vinifera subsp. sylvestris; Gene flow
10.  Whole genome comparison between table and wine grapes reveals a comprehensive catalog of structural variants 
BMC Plant Biology  2014;14:7.
Background
Grapevine (Vitis vinifera L.) is the most important Mediterranean fruit crop, used to produce both wine and spirits as well as table grape and raisins. Wine and table grape cultivars represent two divergent germplasm pools with different origins and domestication history, as well as differential characteristics for berry size, cluster architecture and berry chemical profile, among others. ‘Sultanina’ plays a pivotal role in modern table grape breeding providing the main source of seedlessness. This cultivar is also one of the most planted for fresh consumption and raisins production. Given its importance, we sequenced it and implemented a novel strategy for the de novo assembly of its highly heterozygous genome.
Results
Our approach produced a draft genome of 466 Mb, recovering 82% of the genes present in the grapevine reference genome; in addition, we identified 240 novel genes. A large number of structural variants and SNPs were identified. Among them, 45 (21 SNPs and 24 INDELs) were experimentally confirmed in ‘Sultanina’ and six SNPs in other 23 table grape varieties. Transposable elements corresponded to ca. 80% of the repetitive sequences involved in structural variants and more than 2,000 genes were affected in their structure by these variants. Some of these genes are likely involved in embryo development, suggesting that they may contribute to seedlessness, a key trait for table grapes.
Conclusions
This work produced the first structural variants and SNPs catalog for grapevine, constituting a novel and very powerful tool for genomic studies in this key fruit crop, particularly useful to support marker assisted breeding in table grapes.
doi:10.1186/1471-2229-14-7
PMCID: PMC3890619  PMID: 24397443
‘Sultanina’ genome; Vitis vinifera L; Structural variants
11.  Identification of microRNAs from Amur grape (vitis amurensis Rupr.) by deep sequencing and analysis of microRNA variations with bioinformatics 
BMC Genomics  2012;13:122.
Background
MicroRNA (miRNA) is a class of functional non-coding small RNA with 19-25 nucleotides in length while Amur grape (Vitis amurensis Rupr.) is an important wild fruit crop with the strongest cold resistance among the Vitis species, is used as an excellent breeding parent for grapevine, and has elicited growing interest in wine production. To date, there is a relatively large number of grapevine miRNAs (vv-miRNAs) from cultivated grapevine varieties such as Vitis vinifera L. and hybrids of V. vinifera and V. labrusca, but there is no report on miRNAs from Vitis amurensis Rupr, a wild grapevine species.
Results
A small RNA library from Amur grape was constructed and Solexa technology used to perform deep sequencing of the library followed by subsequent bioinformatics analysis to identify new miRNAs. In total, 126 conserved miRNAs belonging to 27 miRNA families were identified, and 34 known but non-conserved miRNAs were also found. Significantly, 72 new potential Amur grape-specific miRNAs were discovered. The sequences of these new potential va-miRNAs were further validated through miR-RACE, and accumulation of 18 new va-miRNAs in seven tissues of grapevines confirmed by real time RT-PCR (qRT-PCR) analysis. The expression levels of va-miRNAs in flowers and berries were found to be basically consistent in identity to those from deep sequenced sRNAs libraries of combined corresponding tissues. We also describe the conservation and variation of va-miRNAs using miR-SNPs and miR-LDs during plant evolution based on comparison of orthologous sequences, and further reveal that the number and sites of miR-SNP in diverse miRNA families exhibit distinct divergence. Finally, 346 target genes for the new miRNAs were predicted and they include a number of Amur grape stress tolerance genes and many genes regulating anthocyanin synthesis and sugar metabolism.
Conclusions
Deep sequencing of short RNAs from Amur grape flowers and berries identified 72 new potential miRNAs and 34 known but non-conserved miRNAs, indicating that specific miRNAs exist in Amur grape. These results show that a number of regulatory miRNAs exist in Amur grape and play an important role in Amur grape growth, development, and response to abiotic or biotic stress.
doi:10.1186/1471-2164-13-122
PMCID: PMC3353164  PMID: 22455456
Amur grape; microRNA; Sequences evolution; Solexa sequencing; miR-RACE; qRT-PCR
12.  Colonization of Vitis vinifera by a Green Fluorescence Protein-Labeled, gfp-Marked Strain of Xylophilus ampelinus, the Causal Agent of Bacterial Necrosis of Grapevine 
The dynamics of Xylophilus ampelinus were studied in Vitis vinifera cv. Ugni blanc using gfp-marked bacterial strains to evaluate the relative importance of epiphytic and endophytic phases of plant colonization in disease development. Currently, bacterial necrosis of grapevine is of economic importance in vineyards in three regions in France: the Cognac, Armagnac, and Die areas. This disease is responsible for progressive destruction of vine shoots, leading to their death. We constructed gfp-marked strains of the CFBP2098 strain of X. ampelinus for histological studies. We studied the colonization of young plants of V. vinifera cv. Ugni blanc by X. ampelinus after three types of artificial contamination in a growth chamber and in a greenhouse. (i) After wounding of the stem and inoculation, the bacteria progressed down to the crown through the xylem vessels, where they organized into biofilms. (ii) When the bacteria were forced into woody cuttings, they rarely colonized the emerging plantlets. Xylem vessels could play a key role in the multiplication and conservation of the bacteria, rather than being a route for plant colonization. (iii) When bacterial suspensions were sprayed onto the plants, bacteria progressed in two directions: both in emerging organs and down to the crown, thus displaying the importance of epiphytic colonization in disease development.
doi:10.1128/AEM.69.4.1904-1912.2003
PMCID: PMC154790  PMID: 12676663
13.  Genome-wide transcriptional analysis of grapevine berry ripening reveals a set of genes similarly modulated during three seasons and the occurrence of an oxidative burst at vèraison 
BMC Genomics  2007;8:428.
Background
Grapevine (Vitis species) is among the most important fruit crops in terms of cultivated area and economic impact. Despite this relevance, little is known about the transcriptional changes and the regulatory circuits underlying the biochemical and physical changes occurring during berry development.
Results
Fruit ripening in the non-climacteric crop species Vitis vinifera L. has been investigated at the transcriptional level by the use of the Affymetrix Vitis GeneChip® which contains approximately 14,500 unigenes. Gene expression data obtained from berries sampled before and after véraison in three growing years, were analyzed to identify genes specifically involved in fruit ripening and to investigate seasonal influences on the process. From these analyses a core set of 1477 genes was found which was similarly modulated in all seasons. We were able to separate ripening specific isoforms within gene families and to identify ripening related genes which appeared strongly regulated also by the seasonal weather conditions. Transcripts annotation by Gene Ontology vocabulary revealed five overrepresented functional categories of which cell wall organization and biogenesis, carbohydrate and secondary metabolisms and stress response were specifically induced during the ripening phase, while photosynthesis was strongly repressed. About 19% of the core gene set was characterized by genes involved in regulatory processes, such as transcription factors and transcripts related to hormonal metabolism and signal transduction. Auxin, ethylene and light emerged as the main stimuli influencing berry development. In addition, an oxidative burst, previously not detected in grapevine, characterized by rapid accumulation of H2O2 starting from véraison and by the modulation of many ROS scavenging enzymes, was observed.
Conclusion
The time-course gene expression analysis of grapevine berry development has identified the occurrence of two well distinct phases along the process. The pre-véraison phase represents a reprogramming stage of the cellular metabolism, characterized by the expression of numerous genes involved in hormonal signalling and transcriptional regulation. The post-véraison phase is characterized by the onset of a ripening-specialized metabolism responsible for the phenotypic traits of the ripe berry. Between the two phases, at véraison, an oxidative burst and the concurrent modulation of the anti-oxidative enzymatic network was observed. The large number of regulatory genes we have identified represents a powerful new resource for dissecting the mechanisms of fruit ripening control in non-climacteric plants.
doi:10.1186/1471-2164-8-428
PMCID: PMC2228314  PMID: 18034875
14.  A SNP transferability survey within the genus Vitis 
BMC Plant Biology  2008;8:128.
Background
Efforts to sequence the genomes of different organisms continue to increase. The DNA sequence is usually decoded for one individual and its application is for the whole species. The recent sequencing of the highly heterozygous Vitis vinifera L. cultivar Pinot Noir (clone ENTAV 115) genome gave rise to several thousand polymorphisms and offers a good model to study the transferability of its degree of polymorphism to other individuals of the same species and within the genus.
Results
This study was performed by genotyping 137 SNPs through the SNPlex™ Genotyping System (Applied Biosystems Inc.) and by comparing the SNPlex sequencing results across 35 (of the 137) regions from 69 grape accessions. A heterozygous state transferability of 31.5% across the unrelated cultivars of V. vinifera, of 18.8% across the wild forms of V. vinifera, of 2.3% among non-vinifera Vitis species, and of 0% with Muscadinia rotundifolia was found. In addition, mean allele frequencies were used to evaluate SNP informativeness and develop useful subsets of markers.
Conclusion
Using SNPlex application and corroboration from the sequencing analysis, the informativeness of SNP markers from the heterozygous grape cultivar Pinot Noir was validated in V. vinifera (including cultivars and wild forms), but had a limited application for non-vinifera Vitis species where a resequencing strategy may be preferred, knowing that homology at priming sites is sufficient. This work will allow future applications such as mapping and diversity studies, accession identification and genomic-research assisted breeding within V. vinifera.
doi:10.1186/1471-2229-8-128
PMCID: PMC2631481  PMID: 19087337
15.  Selective defoliation affects plant growth, fruit transcriptional ripening program and flavonoid metabolism in grapevine 
BMC Plant Biology  2013;13:30.
Background
The selective removal of grapevine leaves around berry clusters can improve the quality of ripening fruits by influencing parameters such as the berry sugar and anthocyanin content at harvest. The outcome depends strongly on the timing of defoliation, which influences the source–sink balance and the modified microclimate surrounding the berries. We removed the basal leaves from Vitis vinifera L. cv Sangiovese shoots at the pre-bloom and veraison stages, and investigated responses such as shoot growth, fruit morphology and composition compared to untreated controls. Moreover, we performed a genome-wide expression analysis to explore the impact of these defoliation treatments on berry transcriptome.
Results
We found that pre-bloom defoliation improved berry quality traits such as sugar and anthocyanin content, whereas defoliation at veraison had a detrimental effect, e.g. less anthocyanin and higher incidence of sunburn damage. Genome-wide expression analysis during berry ripening revealed that defoliation at either stage resulted in major transcriptome reprogramming, which slightly delayed the onset of ripening. However, a closer investigation of individual gene expression profiles identified genes that were specifically modulated by defoliation at each stage, reflecting the uncoupling of metabolic processes such as flavonoid biosynthesis, cell wall and stress metabolism, from the general ripening program.
Conclusions
The specific transcriptional modifications we observed following defoliation at different time points allow the identification of the developmental or metabolic processes affected in berries thus deepening the knowledge of the mechanisms by which these agronomical practices impact the final berry ripening traits.
doi:10.1186/1471-2229-13-30
PMCID: PMC3599245  PMID: 23433030
Vitis vinifera; Defoliation; Berry ripening; Transcriptome; Flavonoid; Source-sink balance
16.  Genome Wide Transcriptional Profile Analysis of Vitis amurensis and Vitis vinifera in Response to Cold Stress 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(3):e58740.
Grape is one of the most important fruit crops worldwide. The suitable geographical locations and productivity of grapes are largely limited by temperature. Vitis amurensis is a wild grapevine species with remarkable cold-tolerance, exceeding that of Vitis vinifera, the dominant cultivated species of grapevine. However, the molecular mechanisms that contribute to the enhanced freezing tolerance of V. amurensis remain unknown. Here we used deep sequencing data from restriction endonuclease-generated cDNA fragments to evaluate the whole genome wide modification of transcriptome of V. amurensis under cold treatment. Vitis vinifera cv. Muscat of Hamburg was used as control to help investigate the distinctive features of V. amruensis in responding to cold stress. Approximately 9 million tags were sequenced from non-cold treatment (NCT) and cold treatment (CT) cDNA libraries in each species of grapevine sampled from shoot apices. Alignment of tags into V. vinifera cv. Pinot noir (PN40024) annotated genome identified over 15,000 transcripts in each library in V. amruensis and more than 16,000 in Muscat of Hamburg. Comparative analysis between NCT and CT libraries indicate that V. amurensis has fewer differential expressed genes (DEGs, 1314 transcripts) than Muscat of Hamburg (2307 transcripts) when exposed to cold stress. Common DEGs (408 transcripts) suggest that some genes provide fundamental roles during cold stress in grapes. The most robust DEGs (more than 20-fold change) also demonstrated significant differences between two kinds of grapevine, indicating that cold stress may trigger species specific pathways in V. amurensis. Functional categories of DEGs indicated that the proportion of up-regulated transcripts related to metabolism, transport, signal transduction and transcription were more abundant in V. amurensis. Several highly expressed transcripts that were found uniquely accumulated in V. amurensis are discussed in detail. This subset of unique candidate transcripts may contribute to the excellent cold-hardiness of V. amurensis.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0058740
PMCID: PMC3596283  PMID: 23516547
17.  SNP high-throughput screening in grapevine using the SNPlex™ genotyping system 
BMC Plant Biology  2008;8:12.
Background
Until recently, only a small number of low- and mid-throughput methods have been used for single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) discovery and genotyping in grapevine (Vitis vinifera L.). However, following completion of the sequence of the highly heterozygous genome of Pinot Noir, it has been possible to identify millions of electronic SNPs (eSNPs) thus providing a valuable source for high-throughput genotyping methods.
Results
Herein we report the first application of the SNPlex™ genotyping system in grapevine aiming at the anchoring of an eukaryotic genome. This approach combines robust SNP detection with automated assay readout and data analysis. 813 candidate eSNPs were developed from non-repetitive contigs of the assembled genome of Pinot Noir and tested in 90 progeny of Syrah × Pinot Noir cross. 563 new SNP-based markers were obtained and mapped. The efficiency rate of 69% was enhanced to 80% when multiple displacement amplification (MDA) methods were used for preparation of genomic DNA for the SNPlex assay.
Conclusion
Unlike other SNP genotyping methods used to investigate thousands of SNPs in a few genotypes, or a few SNPs in around a thousand genotypes, the SNPlex genotyping system represents a good compromise to investigate several hundred SNPs in a hundred or more samples simultaneously. Therefore, the use of the SNPlex assay, coupled with whole genome amplification (WGA), is a good solution for future applications in well-equipped laboratories.
doi:10.1186/1471-2229-8-12
PMCID: PMC2268689  PMID: 18226250
18.  Characterization of Vitis vinifera NPR1 homologs involved in the regulation of Pathogenesis-Related gene expression 
BMC Plant Biology  2009;9:54.
Background
Grapevine protection against diseases needs alternative strategies to the use of phytochemicals, implying a thorough knowledge of innate defense mechanisms. However, signalling pathways and regulatory elements leading to induction of defense responses have yet to be characterized in this species. In order to study defense response signalling to pathogens in Vitis vinifera, we took advantage of its recently completed genome sequence to characterize two putative orthologs of NPR1, a key player in salicylic acid (SA)-mediated resistance to biotrophic pathogens in Arabidopsis thaliana.
Results
Two cDNAs named VvNPR1.1 and VvNPR1.2 were isolated from Vitis vinifera cv Chardonnay, encoding proteins showing 55% and 40% identity to Arabidopsis NPR1 respectively. Constitutive expression of VvNPR1.1 and VvNPR1.2 monitored in leaves of V. vinifera cv Chardonnay was found to be enhanced by treatment with benzothiadiazole, a SA analog. In contrast, VvNPR1.1 and VvNPR1.2 transcript levels were not affected during infection of resistant Vitis riparia or susceptible V. vinifera with Plasmopara viticola, the causal agent of downy mildew, suggesting regulation of VvNPR1 activity at the protein level. VvNPR1.1-GFP and VvNPR1.2-GFP fusion proteins were transiently expressed by agroinfiltration in Nicotiana benthamiana leaves, where they localized predominantly to the nucleus. In this system, VvNPR1.1 and VvNPR1.2 expression was sufficient to trigger the accumulation of acidic SA-dependent Pathogenesis-Related proteins PR1 and PR2, but not of basic chitinases (PR3) in the absence of pathogen infection. Interestingly, when VvNPR1.1 or AtNPR1 were transiently overexpressed in Vitis vinifera leaves, the induction of grapevine PR1 was significantly enhanced in response to P. viticola.
Conclusion
In conclusion, our data identified grapevine homologs of NPR1, and their functional analysis showed that VvNPR1.1 and VvNPR1.2 likely control the expression of SA-dependent defense genes. Overexpression of VvNPR1 has thus the potential to enhance grapevine defensive capabilities upon fungal infection. As a consequence, manipulating VvNPR1 and other signalling elements could open ways to strengthen disease resistance mechanisms in this crop species.
doi:10.1186/1471-2229-9-54
PMCID: PMC2686700  PMID: 19432948
19.  Genomic and transcriptomic analysis of the AP2/ERF superfamily in Vitis vinifera 
BMC Genomics  2010;11:719.
Background
The AP2/ERF protein family contains transcription factors that play a crucial role in plant growth and development and in response to biotic and abiotic stress conditions in plants. Grapevine (Vitis vinifera) is the only woody crop whose genome has been fully sequenced. So far, no detailed expression profile of AP2/ERF-like genes is available for grapevine.
Results
An exhaustive search for AP2/ERF genes was carried out on the Vitis vinifera genome and their expression profile was analyzed by Real-Time quantitative PCR (qRT-PCR) in different vegetative and reproductive tissues and under two different ripening stages.
One hundred and forty nine sequences, containing at least one ERF domain, were identified. Specific clusters within the AP2 and ERF families showed conserved expression patterns reminiscent of other species and grapevine specific trends related to berry ripening. Moreover, putative targets of group IX ERFs were identified by co-expression and protein similarity comparisons.
Conclusions
The grapevine genome contains an amount of AP2/ERF genes comparable to that of other dicot species analyzed so far. We observed an increase in the size of specific groups within the ERF family, probably due to recent duplication events. Expression analyses in different aerial tissues display common features previously described in other plant systems and introduce possible new roles for members of some ERF groups during fruit ripening. The presented analysis of AP2/ERF genes in grapevine provides the bases for studying the molecular regulation of berry development and the ripening process.
doi:10.1186/1471-2164-11-719
PMCID: PMC3022922  PMID: 21171999
20.  Historical Introgression of the Downy Mildew Resistance Gene Rpv12 from the Asian Species Vitis amurensis into Grapevine Varieties 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(4):e61228.
The Amur grape (Vitis amurensis Rupr.) thrives naturally in cool climates of Northeast Asia. Resistance against the introduced pathogen Plasmopara viticola is common among wild ecotypes that were propagated from Manchuria into Chinese vineyards or collected by Soviet botanists in Siberia, and used for the introgression of resistance into wine grapes (Vitis vinifera L.). A QTL analysis revealed a dominant gene Rpv12 that explained 79% of the phenotypic variance for downy mildew resistance and was inherited independently of other resistance genes. A Mendelian component of resistance–a hypersensitive response in leaves challenged with P. viticola–was mapped in an interval of 0.2 cM containing an array of coiled-coil NB-LRR genes on chromosome 14. We sequenced 10-kb genic regions in the Rpv12+ haplotype and identified polymorphisms in 12 varieties of V. vinifera using next-generation sequencing. The combination of two SNPs in single-copy genes flanking the NB-LRR cluster distinguished the resistant haplotype from all others found in 200 accessions of V. vinifera, V. amurensis, and V. amurensis x V. vinifera crosses. The Rpv12+ haplotype is shared by 15 varieties, the most ancestral of which are the century-old ‘Zarja severa’ and ‘Michurinets’. Before this knowledge, the chromosome segment around Rpv12+ became introgressed, shortened, and pyramided with another downy mildew resistance gene from North American grapevines (Rpv3) only by phenotypic selection. Rpv12+ has an additive effect with Rpv3+ to protect vines against natural infections, and confers foliar resistance to strains that are virulent on Rpv3+ plants.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0061228
PMCID: PMC3625174  PMID: 23593440
21.  The powdery mildew resistance gene REN1 co-segregates with an NBS-LRR gene cluster in two Central Asian grapevines 
BMC Genetics  2009;10:89.
Background
Grape powdery mildew is caused by the North American native pathogen Erysiphe necator. Eurasian Vitis vinifera varieties were all believed to be susceptible. REN1 is the first resistance gene naturally found in cultivated plants of Vitis vinifera.
Results
REN1 is present in 'Kishmish vatkana' and 'Dzhandzhal kara', two grapevines documented in Central Asia since the 1920's. These cultivars have a second-degree relationship (half sibs, grandparent-grandchild, or avuncular), and share by descent the chromosome on which the resistance allele REN1 is located. The REN1 interval was restricted to 1.4 cM using 38 SSR markers distributed across the locus and the segregation of the resistance phenotype in two progenies of collectively 461 offspring, derived from either resistant parent. The boundary markers delimit a 1.4-Mbp sequence in the PN40024 reference genome, which contains 27 genes with known functions, 2 full-length coiled-coil NBS-LRR genes, and 9 NBS-LRR pseudogenes. In the REN1 locus of PN40024, NBS genes have proliferated through a mixture of segmental duplications, tandem gene duplications, and intragenic recombination between paralogues, indicating that the REN1 locus has been inherently prone to producing genetic variation. Three SSR markers co-segregate with REN1, the outer ones confining the 908-kb array of NBS-LRR genes. Kinship and clustering analyses based on genetic distances with susceptible cultivars representative of Central Asian Vitis vinifera indicated that 'Kishmish vatkana' and 'Dzhandzhal kara' fit well into local germplasm. 'Kishmish vatkana' also has a parent-offspring relationship with the seedless table grape 'Sultanina'. In addition, the distant genetic relatedness to rootstocks, some of which are derived from North American species resistant to powdery mildew and have been used worldwide to guard against phylloxera since the late 1800's, argues against REN1 being infused into Vitis vinifera from a recent interspecific hybridisation.
Conclusion
The REN1 gene resides in an NBS-LRR gene cluster tightly delimited by two flanking SSR markers, which can assist in the selection of this DNA block in breeding between Vitis vinifera cultivars. The REN1 locus has multiple layers of structural complexity compared with its two closely related paralogous NBS clusters, which are located some 5 Mbp upstream and 4 Mbp downstream of the REN1 interval on the same chromosome.
doi:10.1186/1471-2156-10-89
PMCID: PMC2814809  PMID: 20042081
22.  Life history and assessment of grapevine phylloxera leaf galling incidence on Vitis species in Uruguay 
SpringerPlus  2013;2:181.
Grapevine phylloxera, Daktulosphaira vitifoliae (Fitch) (Hemiptera: Phylloxeridae) is a worldwide pest of Vitis species. It has forms that feed on leaves and roots. Root forms predominate on Vitis vinifera (L.) cultivars, while leaf forms predominate on Vitis species from its native American range. Recently, high densities of D. vitifoliae infestations in leaves of V. vinifera in Brazil, Peru, and Uruguay have been reported. The aims of this study were to determine the seasonal development of grape phylloxera, quantify infestation levels on V. vinifera leaves, and compare them with infestation levels on leaves of a rootstock of American origin. Studies were conducted in two vineyards in Uruguay from 2004–2007. Terminal shoots of 3309 C and Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Tannat, Viognier, grafted onto resistant rootstock, were sampled weekly and leaves examined for gall presence and insect life stage. First galls were detected in early October; eggs began to appear within two weeks. Two oviposition peaks occurred by the end of December, and they coincided with bursts of shoot growth. On 3309C rootstock, oviposition peaks were more frequent than on the European cultivars. Based on thermal accumulation, D. vitifoliae could complete eight generations a year in Uruguay. Rootstock 3309C suffered the greatest damage but in some cases was similar to the European cultivars. Damage to Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Viognier were also high. There were no galls on Tannat. The 2005–2006 season was characterized by low infestation rates caused by a prolonged drought that affected vegetative growth. There were also differences between vineyards, where the vigorous plants suffering more damage. Leaf galling phylloxera incidence and damage were mainly associated to the cultivar but plant vigor and environmental factors also contributed to increase the incidence.
doi:10.1186/2193-1801-2-181
PMCID: PMC3647097  PMID: 23667822
Daktulosphaira vitifoliae; Hemiptera: Phylloxeridae; Seasonal development; Foliage infestation
23.  Acyl substrate preferences of an IAA-amido synthetase account for variations in grape (Vitis vinifera L.) berry ripening caused by different auxinic compounds indicating the importance of auxin conjugation in plant development 
Journal of Experimental Botany  2011;62(12):4267-4280.
Nine Gretchen Hagen (GH3) genes were identified in grapevine (Vitis vinifera L.) and six of these were predicted on the basis of protein sequence similarity to act as indole-3-acetic acid (IAA)-amido synthetases. The activity of these enzymes is thought to be important in controlling free IAA levels and one auxin-inducible grapevine GH3 protein, GH3-1, has previously been implicated in the berry ripening process. Ex planta assays showed that the expression of only one other GH3 gene, GH3-2, increased following the treatment of grape berries with auxinic compounds. One of these was the naturally occurring IAA and the other two were synthetic, α-naphthalene acetic acid (NAA) and benzothiazole-2-oxyacetic acid (BTOA). The determination of steady-state kinetic parameters for the recombinant GH3-1 and GH3-2 proteins revealed that both enzymes efficiently conjugated aspartic acid (Asp) to IAA and less well to NAA, while BTOA was a poor substrate. GH3-2 gene expression was induced by IAA treatment of pre-ripening berries with an associated increase in levels of IAA-Asp and a decrease in free IAA levels. This indicates that GH3-2 responded to excess auxin to maintain low levels of free IAA. Grape berry ripening was not affected by IAA application prior to veraison (ripening onset) but was considerably delayed by NAA and even more so by BTOA. The differential effects of the three auxinic compounds on berry ripening can therefore be explained by the induction and acyl substrate specificity of GH3-2. These results further indicate an important role for GH3 proteins in controlling auxin-related plant developmental processes.
doi:10.1093/jxb/err134
PMCID: PMC3153680  PMID: 21543520
Auxin; GH3 proteins; ripening; Vitis vinifera
24.  Genetic diversity and population structure assessed by SSR and SNP markers in a large germplasm collection of grape 
BMC Plant Biology  2013;13:39.
Background
The economic importance of grapevine has driven significant efforts in genomics to accelerate the exploitation of Vitis resources for development of new cultivars. However, although a large number of clonally propagated accessions are maintained in grape germplasm collections worldwide, their use for crop improvement is limited by the scarcity of information on genetic diversity, population structure and proper phenotypic assessment. The identification of representative and manageable subset of accessions would facilitate access to the diversity available in large collections. A genome-wide germplasm characterization using molecular markers can offer reliable tools for adjusting the quality and representativeness of such core samples.
Results
We investigated patterns of molecular diversity at 22 common microsatellite loci and 384 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 2273 accessions of domesticated grapevine V. vinifera ssp. sativa, its wild relative V. vinifera ssp. sylvestris, interspecific hybrid cultivars and rootstocks. Despite the large number of putative duplicates and extensive clonal relationships among the accessions, we observed high level of genetic variation. In the total germplasm collection the average genetic diversity, as quantified by the expected heterozygosity, was higher for SSR loci (0.81) than for SNPs (0.34). The analysis of the genetic structure in the grape germplasm collection revealed several levels of stratification. The primary division was between accessions of V. vinifera and non-vinifera, followed by the distinction between wild and domesticated grapevine. Intra-specific subgroups were detected within cultivated grapevine representing different eco-geographic groups. The comparison of a phenological core collection and genetic core collections showed that the latter retained more genetic diversity, while maintaining a similar phenotypic variability.
Conclusions
The comprehensive molecular characterization of our grape germplasm collection contributes to the knowledge about levels and distribution of genetic diversity in the existing resources of Vitis and provides insights into genetic subdivision within the European germplasm. Genotypic and phenotypic information compared in this study may efficiently guide further exploration of this diversity for facilitating its practical use.
doi:10.1186/1471-2229-13-39
PMCID: PMC3610244  PMID: 23497049
Grapevine; Diversity pattern; Population structure; Phenotypic variation; Core collections; Vitis spp
25.  Functional Annotation, Genome Organization and Phylogeny of the Grapevine (Vitis vinifera) Terpene Synthase Gene Family Based on Genome Assembly, FLcDNA Cloning, and Enzyme Assays 
BMC Plant Biology  2010;10:226.
Background
Terpenoids are among the most important constituents of grape flavour and wine bouquet, and serve as useful metabolite markers in viticulture and enology. Based on the initial 8-fold sequencing of a nearly homozygous Pinot noir inbred line, 89 putative terpenoid synthase genes (VvTPS) were predicted by in silico analysis of the grapevine (Vitis vinifera) genome assembly [1]. The finding of this very large VvTPS family, combined with the importance of terpenoid metabolism for the organoleptic properties of grapevine berries and finished wines, prompted a detailed examination of this gene family at the genomic level as well as an investigation into VvTPS biochemical functions.
Results
We present findings from the analysis of the up-dated 12-fold sequencing and assembly of the grapevine genome that place the number of predicted VvTPS genes at 69 putatively functional VvTPS, 20 partial VvTPS, and 63 VvTPS probable pseudogenes. Gene discovery and annotation included information about gene architecture and chromosomal location. A dense cluster of 45 VvTPS is localized on chromosome 18. Extensive FLcDNA cloning, gene synthesis, and protein expression enabled functional characterization of 39 VvTPS; this is the largest number of functionally characterized TPS for any species reported to date. Of these enzymes, 23 have unique functions and/or phylogenetic locations within the plant TPS gene family. Phylogenetic analyses of the TPS gene family showed that while most VvTPS form species-specific gene clusters, there are several examples of gene orthology with TPS of other plant species, representing perhaps more ancient VvTPS, which have maintained functions independent of speciation.
Conclusions
The highly expanded VvTPS gene family underpins the prominence of terpenoid metabolism in grapevine. We provide a detailed experimental functional annotation of 39 members of this important gene family in grapevine and comprehensive information about gene structure and phylogeny for the entire currently known VvTPS gene family.
doi:10.1186/1471-2229-10-226
PMCID: PMC3017849  PMID: 20964856

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