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1.  Downy mildew resistance induced by Trichoderma harzianum T39 in susceptible grapevines partially mimics transcriptional changes of resistant genotypes 
BMC Genomics  2012;13:660.
Downy mildew, caused by Plasmopara viticola, is one of the most severe diseases of grapevine and is commonly controlled by fungicide treatments. The beneficial microorganism Trichoderma harzianum T39 (T39) can induce resistance to downy mildew, although the molecular events associated with this process have not yet been elucidated in grapevine. A next generation RNA sequencing (RNA-Seq) approach was used to study global transcriptional changes associated with resistance induced by T39 in Vitis vinifera Pinot Noir leaves. The long-term aim was to develop strategies to optimize the use of this agent for downy mildew control.
More than 14.8 million paired-end reads were obtained for each biological replicate of T39-treated and control leaf samples collected before and 24 h after P. viticola inoculation. RNA-Seq analysis resulted in the identification of 7,024 differentially expressed genes, highlighting the complex transcriptional reprogramming of grapevine leaves during resistance induction and in response to pathogen inoculation. Our data show that T39 has a dual effect: it directly modulates genes related to the microbial recognition machinery, and it enhances the expression of defence-related processes after pathogen inoculation. Whereas several genes were commonly affected by P. viticola in control and T39-treated plants, opposing modulation of genes related to responses to stress and protein metabolism was found. T39-induced resistance partially inhibited some disease-related processes and specifically activated defence responses after P. viticola inoculation, causing a significant reduction of downy mildew symptoms.
The global transcriptional analysis revealed that defence processes known to be implicated in the reaction of resistant genotypes to downy mildew were partially activated by T39-induced resistance in susceptible grapevines. Genes identified in this work are an important source of markers for selecting novel resistance inducers and for the analysis of environmental conditions that might affect induced resistance mechanisms.
PMCID: PMC3551682  PMID: 23173562
Induced resistance; Next generation sequencing; RNA-Seq; Transcriptomics; Gene expression; Vitis vinifera; Plant-pathogen interactions
2.  The Sulfated Laminarin Triggers a Stress Transcriptome before Priming the SA- and ROS-Dependent Defenses during Grapevine's Induced Resistance against Plasmopara viticola 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(2):e88145.
Grapevine (Vitis vinifera) is susceptible to many pathogens which cause significant losses to viticulture worldwide. Chemical control is available, but agro-ecological concerns have raised interest in alternative methods, especially in triggering plant immunity by elicitor treatments. The β-glucan laminarin (Lam) and its sulfated derivative (PS3) have been previously demonstrated to induce resistance in grapevine against downy mildew (Plasmopara viticola). However, if Lam elicits classical grapevine defenses such as oxidative burst, pathogenesis-related (PR)-proteins and phytoalexin production, PS3 triggered grapevine resistance via a poorly understood priming phenomenon. The aim of this study was to identify the molecular mechanisms of the PS3-induced resistance. For this purpose we studied i) the signaling events and transcriptome reprogramming triggered by PS3 treatment on uninfected grapevine, ii) grapevine immune responses primed by PS3 during P. viticola infection. Our results showed that i) PS3 was unable to elicit reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, cytosolic Ca2+ concentration variations, mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) activation but triggered a long lasting plasma membrane depolarization in grapevine cells, ii) PS3 and Lam shared a common stress-responsive transcriptome profile that partly overlapped the salicylate- (SA) and jasmonate-(JA)-dependent ones. After P. viticola inoculation, PS3 specifically primed the SA- and ROS-dependent defense pathways leading to grapevine induced resistance against this biotroph. Interestingly pharmacological approaches suggested that the plasma membrane depolarization and the downstream ROS production are key events of the PS3-induced resistance.
PMCID: PMC3916396  PMID: 24516597
3.  cDNA-AFLP analysis of plant and pathogen genes expressed in grapevine infected with Plasmopara viticola 
BMC Genomics  2008;9:142.
The oomycete Plasmopara viticola (Berk. and Curt.) Berl. and de Toni causes downy mildew in grapevine (Vitis vinifera L.). This pathogen is strictly biotrophic, thus completely dependent on living host cells for its survival. The molecular basis of compatibility and disease development in this system is poorly understood. We have carried out a large-scale cDNA-AFLP analysis to identify grapevine and P. viticola genes associated with the infection process.
We carried out cDNA-AFLP analysis on artificially infected leaves of the susceptible cultivar Riesling at the oil spot stage, on water-treated leaves and on a sample of pure sporangia as controls. Selective amplifications with 128 primer combinations allowed the visualization of about 7000 transcript-derived fragments (TDFs) in infected leaves, 1196 of which (17%) were differentially expressed. We sequenced 984 fragments, 804 of which were identified as grapevine transcripts after homology searching, while 96 were homologous to sequences in Phytophthora spp. databases and were attributed to P. viticola. There were 82 orphan TDFs. Many grapevine genes spanning almost all functional categories were downregulated during infection, especially genes involved in photosynthesis. Grapevine genes homologous to known resistance genes also tended to be repressed, as were several resistance gene analogs and carbonic anhydrase (recently implicated in pathogen resistance). In contrast, genes encoding cytoskeletal components, enzymes of the phenylpropanoid and beta-oxidation pathways, and pathogenesis related proteins were primarily upregulated during infection. The majority of P. viticola transcripts expressed in planta showed homology to genes of unknown function or to genomic Phytophthora sequences, but genes related to metabolism, energy production, transport and signal transduction were also identified.
This study provides the first global catalogue of grapevine and P. viticola genes expressed during infection, together with their functional annotations. This will help to elucidate the molecular basis of the infection process and identify genes and chemicals that could help to inhibit the pathogen.
PMCID: PMC2292706  PMID: 18366764
4.  Proteomic analysis of grapevine resistance induced by Trichoderma harzianum T39 reveals specific defence pathways activated against downy mildew 
Journal of Experimental Botany  2012;63(17):6237-6251.
Downy mildew is caused by the oomycete Plasmopara viticola and is one of the most serious diseases of grapevine. The beneficial microorganism Trichoderma harzianum T39 (T39) has previously been shown to induce plant-mediated resistance and to reduce the severity of downy mildew in susceptible grapevines. In order to better understand the cellular processes associated with T39-induced resistance, the proteomic and histochemical changes activated by T39 in grapevine were investigated before and 1 day after P. viticola inoculation. A comprehensive proteomic analysis of T39-induced resistance in grapevine was performed using an eight-plex iTRAQ protocol, resulting in the identification and quantification of a total of 800 proteins. Most of the proteins directly affected by T39 were found to be involved in signal transduction, indicating activation of a complete microbial recognition machinery. Moreover, T39-induced resistance was associated with rapid accumulation of reactive oxygen species and callose at infection sites, as well as changes in abundance of proteins involved in response to stress and redox balance, indicating an active defence response to downy mildew. On the other hand, proteins affected by P. viticola in control plants mainly decreased in abundance, possibly reflecting the establishment of a compatible interaction. Finally, the high-throughput iTRAQ protocol allowed de novo peptide sequencing, which will be used to improve annotation of the Vitis vinifera cv. Pinot Noir proteome.
PMCID: PMC3481215  PMID: 23105132
biocontrol agent; induced resistance; Plasmopara viticola; quantitative proteomics; reactive oxygen species; tripartite interaction; Vitis vinifera
5.  Soybean and casein hydrolysates induce grapevine immune responses and resistance against Plasmopara viticola 
Plasmopara viticola, the causal agent of grapevine downy mildew, is one of the most devastating grape pathogen in Europe and North America. Although phytochemicals are used to control pathogen infections, the appearance of resistant strains and the concern for possible adverse effects on environment and human health are increasing the search for alternative strategies. In the present investigation, we successfully tested two protein hydrolysates from soybean (soy) and casein (cas) to trigger grapevine resistance against P. viticola. On Vitis vinifera cv. Marselan plants, the application of soy and cas reduced the infected leaf surface by 76 and 63%, as compared to the control, respectively. Since both hydrolysates might trigger the plant immunity, we investigated their ability to elicit grapevine defense responses. On grapevine cell suspensions, a different free cytosolic calcium signature was recorded for each hydrolysate, whereas a similar transient phosphorylation of two MAP kinases of 45 and 49 kDa was observed. These signaling events were followed by transcriptome reprogramming, including the up-regulation of defense genes encoding pathogenesis-related (PR) proteins and the stilbene synthase enzyme responsible for the biosynthesis of resveratrol, the main grapevine phytoalexin. Liquid chromatography analyses confirmed the production of resveratrol and its dimer metabolites, δ- and ε-viniferins. Overall, soy effects were more pronounced as compared to the cas ones. Both hydrolysates proved to act as elicitors to enhance grapevine immunity against pathogen attack.
PMCID: PMC4274885  PMID: 25566290
protein hydrolysates; Plasmopara viticola; Vitis vinifera; induced resistance; plant immunity; phytoalexins
6.  Reference Gene Selection and Validation for the Early Responses to Downy Mildew Infection in Susceptible and Resistant Vitis vinifera Cultivars 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(9):e72998.
The pivotal role of cultivated grapevine (Vitis vinifera L.) in many countries economy is compromised by its high susceptibility to Plasmopara viticola, the causal agent of downy mildew disease. Recent research has identified a set of genes related to resistance which may be used to track downy mildew infection. Quantification of the expression of these resistance genes requires normalizing qPCR data using reference genes with stable expression in the system studied. In this study, a set of eleven genes (VATP16, 60 S, UQCC, SMD3, EF1α, UBQ, SAND, GAPDH, ACT, PsaB, PTB2) was evaluated to identify reference genes during the first hours of interaction (6, 12, 18 and 24 hpi) between two V. vinifera genotypes and P. viticola. Two analyses were used for the selection of reference genes: direct comparison of susceptible, Trincadeira, and resistant, Regent, V. vinifera cultivars at 0 h, 6, 12, 18 and 24 hours post inoculation with P. viticola (genotype effect); and comparison of each genotype with mock inoculated samples during inoculation time-course (biotic stress effect). Three statistical methods were used, GeNorm, NormFinder, and BestKeeper, allowing to identify UBQ, EF1α and GAPDH as the most stable genes for the genotype effect. For the biotic stress effect, EF1α, SAND and SMD3 were the most constant for the susceptible cultivar Trincadeira and EF1α, GAPDH, UBQ for the resistant cultivar Regent. In addition, the expression of three defense-related transcripts, encoding for subtilisin-like protein, CYP and PR10, was analysed, for both datasets, during inoculation time-course. Taken together, our results provide guidelines for reference gene(s) selection towards a more accurate and widespread use of qPCR to study the first hours of interaction between different grapevine cultivars and P. viticola.
PMCID: PMC3762845  PMID: 24023800
7.  Characterization of Vitis vinifera NPR1 homologs involved in the regulation of Pathogenesis-Related gene expression 
BMC Plant Biology  2009;9:54.
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.
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.
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.
PMCID: PMC2686700  PMID: 19432948
8.  General and species-specific transcriptional responses to downy mildew infection in a susceptible (Vitis vinifera) and a resistant (V. riparia) grapevine species 
BMC Genomics  2010;11:117.
Downy mildew is a destructive grapevine disease caused by Plasmopara viticola (Berk. and Curt.) Berl. and de Toni, which can only be controlled by intensive fungicide treatments. Natural sources of resistance from wild grapevine (Vitis) species are used in conventional breeding approaches, but the signals and effectors involved in resistance in this important crop species are not well understood.
Early transcriptional changes associated with P. viticola infection in susceptible V. vinifera and resistant V. riparia plants were analyzed using the Combimatrix microarray platform. Transcript levels were measured 12 and 24 h post-inoculation, reflecting the time points immediately preceding the onset of resistance in V. riparia, as determined by microscopic analysis. Our data indicate that resistance in V. riparia is induced after infection, and is not based on differences in basal gene expression between the two species. The strong and rapid transcriptional reprogramming involves the induction of pathogenesis-related proteins and enzymes required for the synthesis of phenylpropanoid-derived compounds, many of which are also induced, albeit to a lesser extent, in V. vinifera. More interestingly, resistance in V. riparia also involves the specific modulation of numerous transcripts encoding components of signal transduction cascades, hypersensitive reaction markers and genes involved in jasmonate biosynthesis. The limited transcriptional modulation in V. vinifera represents a weak attempted defense response rather than the activation of compatibility-specific pathways.
Several candidate resistance genes were identified that could be exploited in future biotechnological approaches to increase disease resistance in susceptible grapevine species. Measurements of jasmonic acid and methyl jasmonate in infected leaves suggest that this hormone may also be involved in V. riparia resistance to P. viticola.
PMCID: PMC2831845  PMID: 20167053
9.  Breakdown of resistance to grapevine downy mildew upon limited deployment of a resistant variety 
BMC Plant Biology  2010;10:147.
Natural disease resistance is a cost-effective and environmentally friendly way of controlling plant disease. Breeding programmes need to make sure that the resistance deployed is effective and durable. Grapevine downy mildew, caused by the Oomycete Plasmopara viticola, affects viticulture and it is controlled with pesticides. Downy mildew resistant grapevine varieties are a promising strategy to control the disease, but their use is currently restricted to very limited acreages. The arising of resistance-breaking isolates under such restricted deployment of resistant varieties would provide valuable information to design breeding strategies for the deployment of resistance genes over large acreages whilst reducing the risks of the resistance being defeated. The observation of heavy downy mildew symptoms on a plant of the resistant variety Bianca, whose resistance is conferred by a major gene, provided us with a putative example of emergence of a resistance-breaking isolate in the interaction between grapevine and P. viticola.
In this paper we describe the emergence of a P. viticola isolate (isolate SL) that specifically overcomes Rpv3, the major resistance gene carried by Bianca at chromosome 18. We show that isolate SL has the same behaviour as two P. viticola isolates avirulent on Bianca (isolates SC and SU) when inoculated on susceptible plants or on resistant plants carrying resistances derived from other sources, suggesting there is no fitness cost associated to the virulence. Molecular analysis shows that all three isolates are genetically closely related.
Our results are the first description of a resistance-breaking isolate in the grapevine/P. viticola interaction, and show that, despite the reduced genetic variability of P. viticola in Europe compared to its basin of origin and the restricted use of natural resistance in European viticulture, resistance-breaking isolates overcoming monogenic resistances may arise even in cases where deployment of the resistant varieties is limited to small acreages. Our findings represent a warning call for the use of resistant varieties and an incentive to design breeding programmes aiming to optimize durability of the resistances.
PMCID: PMC3095292  PMID: 20633270
10.  Phenotypic and histochemical traits of the interaction between Plasmopara viticola and resistant or susceptible grapevine varieties 
BMC Plant Biology  2012;12:124.
Grapevine downy mildew, caused by Plasmopara viticola, is a very serious disease affecting mainly Vitis vinifera cultivated varieties around the world. Breeding for resistance through the crossing with less susceptible species is one of the possible means to reduce the disease incidence and the application of fungicides. The hybrid Bianca and some of its siblings are considered very promising but their resistance level can vary depending on the pathogen strain. Moreover, virulent strains characterized by high fitness can represent a potential threat to the hybrid cultivation.
The host response and the pathogen virulence were quantitatively assessed by artificially inoculating cv Chardonnay, cv Bianca and their siblings with P. viticola isolates derived from single germinating oospores collected in various Italian viticultural areas. The host phenotypes were classified as susceptible, intermediate and resistant, according to the Area Under the Disease Progress Curve caused by the inoculated strain. Host responses in cv Bianca and its siblings significantly varied depending on the P. viticola isolates, which in turn differed in their virulence levels. The fitness of the most virulent strain did not significantly vary on the different hybrids including Bianca in comparison with the susceptible cv Chardonnay, suggesting that no costs are associated with virulence. Among the individual fitness components, only sporangia production was significantly reduced in cv Bianca and in some hybrids. Comparative histological analysis revealed differences between susceptible and resistant plants in the pathogen diffusion and cytology from 48 h after inoculation onwards. Defence mechanisms included callose depositions in the infected stomata, increase in peroxidase activity, synthesis of phenolic compounds and flavonoids and the necrosis of stomata and cells immediately surrounding the point of invasion and determined alterations in the size of the infected areas and in the number of sporangia differentiated.
Some hybrids were able to maintain an intermediate-resistant behaviour even when inoculated with the most virulent strain. Such hybrids should be considered for further field trials.
PMCID: PMC3509031  PMID: 22852828
Disease resistance; Oomycetes; Pathogen fitness
11.  In vivo localization at the cellular level of stilbene fluorescence induced by Plasmopara viticola in grapevine leaves 
Journal of Experimental Botany  2012;63(10):3697-3707.
Accurate localization of phytoalexins is a key for better understanding their role. This work aims to localize stilbenes, the main phytoalexins of grapevine. The cellular localization of stilbene fluorescence induced by Plasmopara viticola, the agent of downy mildew, was determined in grapevine leaves of very susceptible, susceptible, and partially resistant genotypes during infection. Laser scanning confocal microscopy and microspectrofluorimetry were used to acquire UV-excited autofluorescence three-dimensional images and spectra of grapevine leaves 5–6 days after inoculation. This noninvasive technique of investigation in vivo was completed with in vitro spectrofluorimetric studies on pure stilbenes as their fluorescence is largely affected by the physicochemical environment in various leaf compartments. Viscosity was the major physicochemical factor influencing stilbene fluorescence intensity, modifying fluorescence yield by more than two orders of magnitude. Striking differences in the localization of stilbene fluorescence induced by P. viticola were observed between the different genotypes. All inoculated genotypes displayed stilbene fluorescence in cell walls of guard cells and periclinal cell walls of epidermal cells. Higher fluorescence intensity was observed in guard-cell walls than in any other compartment due to increased local viscosity. In addition stilbene fluorescence was found in epidermal cell vacuoles of the susceptible genotype and in the infected spongy parenchyma of the partially resistant genotype. The very susceptible genotype was devoid of fluorescence both in the epidermal vacuoles and the mesophyll. This strongly suggests that the resistance of grapevine leaves to P. viticola is correlated with the pattern of localization of induced stilbenes in host tissues.
PMCID: PMC3388817  PMID: 22412183
3D fluorescence microscopy imaging; autofluorescence; defence response; downy mildew; phytoalexins; resistance to pathogen; resveratrol; spectrofluorimetry; Vitaceae (Vitis vinifera L.)
12.  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.
PMCID: PMC3625174  PMID: 23593440
13.  A transcriptomic study of grapevine (Vitis vinifera cv. Cabernet-Sauvignon) interaction with the vascular ascomycete fungus Eutypa lata 
Journal of Experimental Botany  2010;61(6):1719-1737.
Eutypa dieback is a vascular disease that may severely affect vineyards throughout the world. In the present work, microarrays were made in order (i) to improve our knowledge of grapevine (Vitis vinifera cv. Cabernet-Sauvignon) responses to Eutypa lata, the causal agent of Eutypa dieback; and (ii) to identify genes that may prevent symptom development. Qiagen/Operon grapevine microarrays comprising 14 500 probes were used to compare, under three experimental conditions (in vitro, in the greenhouse, and in the vineyard), foliar material of infected symptomatic plants (S+R+), infected asymptomatic plants (S–R+), and healthy plants (S–R–). These plants were characterized by symptom notation after natural (vineyard) or experimental (in vitro and greenhouse) infection, re-isolation of the fungus located in the lignified parts, and the formal identification of E. lata mycelium by PCR. Semi-quantitative real-time PCR experiments were run to confirm the expression of some genes of interest in response to E. lata. Their expression profiles were also studied in response to other grapevine pathogens (Erysiphe necator, Plasmopara viticola, and Botrytis cinerea). (i) Five functional categories of genes, that is those involved in metabolism, defence reactions, interaction with the environment, transport, and transcription, were up-regulated in S+R+ plants compared with S–R– plants. These genes, which cannot prevent infection and symptom development, are not specific since they were also up-regulated after infection by powdery mildew, downy mildew, and black rot. (ii) Most of the genes that may prevent symptom development are associated with the light phase of photosynthesis. This finding is discussed in the context of previous data on the mode of action of eutypin and the polypeptide fraction secreted by Eutypa.
PMCID: PMC2852663  PMID: 20190040
Eutypa dieback; Eutypa lata; grapevine; microarrays; transcriptome; Vitis vinifera
14.  Thiamine modulates metabolism of the phenylpropanoid pathway leading to enhanced resistance to Plasmopara viticola in grapevine 
BMC Plant Biology  2013;13:31.
Previously, we have reported the ability of thiamine (vitamin B1) to induce resistance against Plasmopara viticola in a susceptible grapevine cv. Chardonnay. However, mechanisms underlying vitamins, especially, thiamine-induced disease resistance in grapevine are still largely unknown. Here, we assessed whether thiamine could modulate phenylpropanoid pathway-derived phytoalexins in grapevine plants, as well as, the role of such secondary metabolites in thiamine-induced resistance process to P. viticola.
Our data show that thiamine treatment elicited the expression of phenylpropanoid pathway genes in grapevine plants. The expression of these genes correlated with an accumulation of stilbenes, phenolic compounds, flavonoids and lignin. Furthermore, the total anti-oxidant potential of thiamine-treaded plants was increased by 3.5-fold higher level as compared with untreated-control plants. Four phenolic compounds are responsible of 97% of the total anti-oxidant potential of thiamine-treated plants. Among these compounds, is the caftaric acid, belonging to the hydroxy-cinnamic acids family. This element contributed, by its own, by 20% of this total anti-oxidant potential. Epifluorescence microscopy analysis revealed a concomitant presence of unbranched-altered P. viticola mycelia and stilbenes production in the leaf mesophyll of thiamine-treated inoculated plants, suggesting that stilbenes are an important component of thiamine-induced resistance in grapevine.
This work is the first to show the role of thiamine, as a vitamin, in the modulation of grapevine plant secondary metabolism contributing to an enhanced resistance to P. viticola, the most destructive fungal disease in vineyards.
PMCID: PMC3599452  PMID: 23442597
Thiamine; Plasmopara viticola; Stilbenes; Phenylpropanoid pathway genes; Lignin; Flavonoids; Grapevine; Induced resistance; Real-Time q-PCR; HPLC; UPLC-MS
15.  The Phytoalexin Resveratrol Regulates the Initiation of Hypersensitive Cell Death in Vitis Cell 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(10):e26405.
Resveratrol is a major phytoalexin produced by plants in response to various stresses and promotes disease resistance. The resistance of North American grapevine Vitis rupestris is correlated with a hypersensitive reaction (HR), while susceptible European Vitis vinifera cv. ‘Pinot Noir’ does not exhibit HR, but expresses basal defence. We have shown previously that in cell lines derived from the two Vitis species, the bacterial effector Harpin induced a rapid and sensitive accumulation of stilbene synthase (StSy) transcripts, followed by massive cell death in V. rupestris. In the present work, we analysed the function of the phytoalexin resveratrol, the product of StSy. We found that cv. ‘Pinot Noir’ accumulated low resveratrol and its glycoside trans-piceid, whereas V. rupestris produced massive trans-resveratrol and the toxic oxidative δ-viniferin, indicating that the preferred metabolitism of resveratrol plays role in Vitis resistance. Cellular responses to resveratrol included rapid alkalinisation, accumulation of pathogenesis-related protein 5 (PR5) transcripts, oxidative burst, actin bundling, and cell death. Microtubule disruption and induction of StSy were triggered by Harpin, but not by resveratrol. Whereas most responses proceeded with different amplitude for the two cell lines, the accumulation of resveratrol, and the competence for resveratrol-induced oxidative burst differed in quality. The data lead to a model, where resveratrol, in addition to its classical role as antimicrobial phytoalexin, represents an important regulator for initiation of HR-related cell death.
PMCID: PMC3203900  PMID: 22053190
16.  Over-Expression of VvWRKY1 in Grapevines Induces Expression of Jasmonic Acid Pathway-Related Genes and Confers Higher Tolerance to the Downy Mildew 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(1):e54185.
Most WRKY transcription factors activate expression of defence genes in a salicylic acid- and/or jasmonic acid-dependent signalling pathway. We previously identified a WRKY gene, VvWRKY1, which is able to enhance tolerance to fungal pathogens when it is overexpressed in tobacco. The present work analyzes the effects of VvWRKY1 overexpression in grapevine. Microarray analysis showed that genes encoding defence-related proteins were up-regulated in the leaves of transgenic 35S::VvWRKY1 grapevines. Quantitative RT-PCR analysis confirmed that three genes putatively involved in jasmonic acid signalling pathway were overexpressed in the transgenic grapes. The ability of VvWRKY1 to trans-activate the promoters of these genes was demonstrated by transient expression in grape protoplasts. The resistance to the causal agent of downy mildew, Plasmopara viticola, was enhanced in the transgenic plants. These results show that VvWRKY1 can increase resistance of grapevine against the downy mildew through transcriptional reprogramming leading to activation of the jasmonic acid signalling pathway.
PMCID: PMC3544825  PMID: 23342101
17.  Optical detection of downy mildew in grapevine leaves: daily kinetics of autofluorescence upon infection 
Journal of Experimental Botany  2012;64(1):333-341.
A 15-day survey of autofluorescence has been conducted upon infection by downy mildew [Plasmopara viticola (Berk. & M.A. Curtis) Berl. & de Toni] of leaves of a susceptible grapevine genotype. Different autofluorescence signals were followed from the cellular to the whole-leaf level by using four types of devices for fluorosensing: a macroscope, a spectrofluorimeter, a portable field optical sensor (the Multiplex 3), and a field fluorescence sensor prototype with 335nm excitation. It was shown for the first time, by the three different techniques and at three different scales, that the stilbene-dependent violet–blue autofluorescence (VBF) had a transitory behaviour, increasing to a maximum 6 days post-inoculation (DPI) and then decreasing to a constant lower level, nevertheless significantly higher than in the control leaf. This behaviour could be sensed from both sides of the leaf. On the abaxial side, VBF could discriminate the presence of infection from 1 DPI, and on the adaxial side from 3 DPI. There was a constant increase in blue-excited green fluorescence starting from 8 DPI, concomitant with a decrease in leaf chlorophyll content sensed by one reflectance and two fluorescence indices available on the Multiplex 3 sensor. These results show that a pre-symptomatic and symptomatic sensing of downy mildew is possible by autofluorescence-based sensors, and this is potentially applicable in the field.
PMCID: PMC3528039  PMID: 23213137
Disease diagnostics; optical proximal sensors; phenolic compounds; phytoalexin fluorescence; Plasmopara viticola; Vitis vinifera.
18.  Identification of mildew resistance in wild and cultivated Central Asian grape germplasm 
BMC Plant Biology  2013;13:149.
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.
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.
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.
PMCID: PMC3851849  PMID: 24093598
Powdery mildew resistance; Vitis vinifera subsp. sativa; Vitis vinifera subsp. sylvestris; Gene flow
19.  VpRFP1, a novel C4C4-type RING finger protein gene from Chinese wild Vitis pseudoreticulata, functions as a transcriptional activator in defence response of grapevine 
Journal of Experimental Botany  2011;62(15):5671-5682.
RING finger proteins comprise a large family and play important roles in regulation of growth and development, hormone signalling, and responses to biotic and abiotic stresses in plants. In this study, the identification and functional characterization of a C4C4-type RING finger protein gene from the Chinese wild grapevine Vitis pseudoreticulata (designated VpRFP1) are reported. VpRFP1 was initially identified as an expressed sequence tag (EST) from a cDNA library constructed from leaves of V. pseudoreticulata inoculated with the grapevine powdery mildew Uncinula necator. Sequence analysis of the deduced VpRFP1 protein based on the full-length cDNA revealed an N-terminal nuclear localization signal (NLS) and a C-terminal C4C4-type RING finger motif with the consensus sequence Cys-X2-Cys-X13-Cys-X1-Cys-X4-Cys-X2-Cys-X10-Cys-X2-Cys. Upon inoculation with U. necator, expression of VpRFP1 was rapidly induced to higher levels in mildew-resistant V. pseudoreticulata plants. In contrast, expression of VpRFP1 was down-regulated in mildew-susceptible V. vinifera plants. Western blotting using an antibody raised against VpRFP1 showed that VpRFP1 was also induced to higher levels in V. pseudoreticulata plants at 12–48 hours post-inoculation (hpi). However, there was only slight increase in VpRFP in V. vinifera plants in the same time frame, even though a more significant increase was observed at 96–144 hpi in these plants. Results from transactivation assays in yeast showed that the RING finger motif of VpRFP1 exhibited some activity of transcriptional activation; however, no activity was seen with the full-length VpRFP1. Overexpression of VpRFP1 in Arabidopsis plants was found to enhance resistance to Arabidopsis powdery mildew Golovinomyces cichoracearum, which seemed to be correlated with increased transcript levels of AtPR1 and AtPR2 in the pathogen-infected tissues. In addition, the Arabidopsis transgenic lines showed enhanced resistance to a virulent bacterial pathogen Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato DC3000. Taken together, the results suggested that VpRFP1 may be a transcriptional activator of defence-related genes in grapevines.
PMCID: PMC3223060  PMID: 21862480
C4C4-type RING finger; Chinese wild Vitis pseudoreticulata; disease resistance; powdery mildew; VpRFP1
20.  Microsatellite Markers for Characterization of Native and Introduced Populations of Plasmopara viticola, the Causal Agent of Grapevine Downy Mildew 
Applied and Environmental Microbiology  2012;78(17):6337-6340.
We reported 31 microsatellite markers that have been developed from microsatellite-enriched and direct shotgun pyrosequencing libraries of Plasmopara viticola, the causal agent of grapevine downy mildew. These markers were optimized for population genetics applications and used to characterize 96 P. viticola isolates from three European and three North American populations.
PMCID: PMC3416634  PMID: 22706046
21.  Whole genome wide expression profiles of Vitis amurensis grape responding to downy mildew by using Solexa sequencing technology 
BMC Plant Biology  2010;10:234.
Downy mildew (DM), caused by pathogen Plasmopara viticola (PV) is the single most damaging disease of grapes (Vitis L.) worldwide. However, the mechanisms of the disease development in grapes are poorly understood. A method for estimating gene expression levels using Solexa sequencing of Type I restriction-endonuclease-generated cDNA fragments was used for deep sequencing the transcriptomes resulting from PV infected leaves of Vitis amurensis Rupr. cv. Zuoshan-1. Our goal is to identify genes that are involved in resistance to grape DM disease.
Approximately 8.5 million (M) 21-nt cDNA tags were sequenced in the cDNA library derived from PV pathogen-infected leaves, and about 7.5 M were sequenced from the cDNA library constructed from the control leaves. When annotated, a total of 15,249 putative genes were identified from the Solexa sequencing tags for the infection (INF) library and 14,549 for the control (CON) library. Comparative analysis between these two cDNA libraries showed about 0.9% of the unique tags increased by at least five-fold, and about 0.6% of the unique tags decreased more than five-fold in infected leaves, while 98.5% of the unique tags showed less than five-fold difference between the two samples. The expression levels of 12 differentially expressed genes were confirmed by Real-time RT-PCR and the trends observed agreed well with the Solexa expression profiles, although the degree of change was lower in amplitude. After pathway enrichment analysis, a set of significantly enriched pathways were identified for the differentially expressed genes (DEGs), which associated with ribosome structure, photosynthesis, amino acid and sugar metabolism.
This study presented a series of candidate genes and pathways that may contribute to DM resistance in grapes, and illustrated that the Solexa-based tag-sequencing approach was a powerful tool for gene expression comparison between control and treated samples.
PMCID: PMC3017854  PMID: 21029438
22.  The powdery mildew resistance gene REN1 co-segregates with an NBS-LRR gene cluster in two Central Asian grapevines 
BMC Genetics  2009;10:89.
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.
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.
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.
PMCID: PMC2814809  PMID: 20042081
23.  'Bois noir' phytoplasma induces significant reprogramming of the leaf transcriptome in the field grown grapevine 
BMC Genomics  2009;10:460.
Phytoplasmas are bacteria without cell walls from the class Mollicutes. They are obligate intracellular plant pathogens which cause diseases in hundreds of economically important plants including the grapevine (Vitis vinifera). Knowledge of their biology and the mechanisms of their interactions with hosts is largely unknown because they are uncultivable and experimentally inaccessible in their hosts. We detail here the global transcriptional profiling in grapevine responses to phytoplasmas. The gene expression patterns were followed in leaf midribs of grapevine cv. 'Chardonnay' naturally infected with a phytoplasma from the stolbur group 16SrXII-A, which is associated with the grapevine yellows disease 'Bois noir'.
We established an on field experimental system in a productive vineyard that allowed application of molecular tools in a plant natural environment. Global transcription profiles of infected samples were compared with the healthy ones using microarray datasets and metabolic pathway analysis software (MapMan). The two-year-long experiment revealed that plant genes involved in primary and secondary metabolic pathways were changed in response to infection and that these changes might support phytoplasma nutrition. A hypothesis that phytoplasmas interact with the plant carbohydrate metabolism was proven and some possibilities how the products of this pathway might be utilized by phytoplasmas are discussed. In addition, several photosynthetic genes were largely down-regulated in infected plants, whereas defense genes from the metabolic pathway leading to formation of flavonoids and some PR proteins were significantly induced. Few other genes involved in defense-signaling were differentially expressed in healthy and infected plants. A set of 17 selected genes from several differentially expressed pathways was additionally analyzed with quantitative real-time PCR and confirmed to be suitable for a reliable classification of infected plants and for the characterization of susceptibility features in the field conditions.
This study revealed some fundamental aspects of grapevine interactions with the stolbur 'Bois noir' phytoplasma in particular and some plant interactions with phytoplasmas in general. In addition, the results of the study will likely have an impact on grape improvement by yielding marker genes that can be used in new diagnostic assays for phytoplasmas or by identifying candidate genes that contribute to the improved properties of grape.
PMCID: PMC2761425  PMID: 19799775
24.  Gene expression profiling in susceptible interaction of grapevine with its fungal pathogen Eutypa lata: Extending MapMan ontology for grapevine 
BMC Plant Biology  2009;9:104.
Whole genome transcriptomics analysis is a very powerful approach because it gives an overview of the activity of genes in certain cells or tissue types. However, biological interpretation of such results can be rather tedious. MapMan is a software tool that displays large datasets (e.g. gene expression data) onto diagrams of metabolic pathways or other processes and thus enables easier interpretation of results. The grapevine (Vitis vinifera) genome sequence has recently become available bringing a new dimension into associated research. Two microarray platforms were designed based on the TIGR Gene Index database and used in several physiological studies.
To enable easy and effective visualization of those and further experiments, annotation of Vitis vinifera Gene Index (VvGI version 5) to MapMan ontology was set up. Due to specificities of grape physiology, we have created new pictorial representations focusing on three selected pathways: carotenoid pathway, terpenoid pathway and phenylpropanoid pathway, the products of these pathways being important for wine aroma, flavour and colour, as well as plant defence against pathogens. This new tool was validated on Affymetrix microarrays data obtained during berry ripening and it allowed the discovery of new aspects in process regulation. We here also present results on transcriptional profiling of grape plantlets after exposal to the fungal pathogen Eutypa lata using Operon microarrays including visualization of results with MapMan. The data show that the genes induced in infected plants, encode pathogenesis related proteins and enzymes of the flavonoid metabolism, which are well known as being responsive to fungal infection.
The extension of MapMan ontology to grapevine together with the newly constructed pictorial representations for carotenoid, terpenoid and phenylpropanoid metabolism provide an alternative approach to the analysis of grapevine gene expression experiments performed with Affymetrix or Operon microarrays. MapMan was first validated on an already published dataset and later used to obtain an overview of transcriptional changes in a susceptible grapevine – Eutypa lata interaction at the time of symptoms development, where we showed that the responsive genes belong to families known to be involved in the plant defence towards fungal infection (PR-proteins, enzymes of the phenylpropanoid pathway).
PMCID: PMC2731041  PMID: 19656401
25.  Characterization of Single-Nucleotide-Polymorphism Markers for Plasmopara viticola, the Causal Agent of Grapevine Downy Mildew▿ 
Applied and Environmental Microbiology  2011;77(21):7861-7863.
We report 34 new nuclear single-nucleotide-polymorphism (SNP) markers that have been developed from an expressed sequence tag library of Plasmopara viticola, the causal agent of grapevine downy mildew. This newly developed battery of markers will provide useful additional genetic tools for population genetic studies of this important agronomic species.
PMCID: PMC3209175  PMID: 21926208

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