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1.  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
2.  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
3.  Whole genome wide expression profiles of Vitis amurensis grape responding to downy mildew by using Solexa sequencing technology 
BMC Plant Biology  2010;10:234.
Background
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.
Results
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.
Conclusions
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.
doi:10.1186/1471-2229-10-234
PMCID: PMC3017854  PMID: 21029438
4.  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
5.  High throughput approaches reveal splicing of primary microRNA transcripts and tissue specific expression of mature microRNAs in Vitis vinifera 
BMC Genomics  2009;10:558.
Background
MicroRNAs are short (~21 base) single stranded RNAs that, in plants, are generally coded by specific genes and cleaved specifically from hairpin precursors. MicroRNAs are critical for the regulation of multiple developmental, stress related and other physiological processes in plants. The recent annotation of the genome of the grapevine (Vitis vinifera L.) allowed the identification of many putative conserved microRNA precursors, grouped into multiple gene families.
Results
Here we use oligonucleotide arrays to provide the first indication that many of these microRNAs show differential expression patterns between tissues and during the maturation of fruit in the grapevine. Furthermore we demonstrate that whole transcriptome sequencing and deep-sequencing of small RNA fractions can be used both to identify which microRNA precursors are expressed in different tissues and to estimate genomic coordinates and patterns of splicing and alternative splicing for many primary miRNA transcripts.
Conclusion
Our results show that many microRNAs are differentially expressed in different tissues and during fruit maturation in the grapevine. Furthermore, the demonstration that whole transcriptome sequencing can be used to identify candidate splicing events and approximate primary microRNA transcript coordinates represents a significant step towards the large-scale elucidation of mechanisms regulating the expression of microRNAs at the transcriptional and post-transcriptional levels.
doi:10.1186/1471-2164-10-558
PMCID: PMC2822795  PMID: 19939267
6.  Genomics Assisted Ancestry Deconvolution in Grape 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(11):e80791.
The genus Vitis (the grapevine) is a group of highly diverse, diploid woody perennial vines consisting of approximately 60 species from across the northern hemisphere. It is the world’s most valuable horticultural crop with ~8 million hectares planted, most of which is processed into wine. To gain insights into the use of wild Vitis species during the past century of interspecific grape breeding and to provide a foundation for marker-assisted breeding programmes, we present a principal components analysis (PCA) based ancestry estimation method to calculate admixture proportions of hybrid grapes in the United States Department of Agriculture grape germplasm collection using genome-wide polymorphism data. We find that grape breeders have backcrossed to both the domesticated V. vinifera and wild Vitis species and that reasonably accurate genome-wide ancestry estimation can be performed on interspecific Vitis hybrids using a panel of fewer than 50 ancestry informative markers (AIMs). We compare measures of ancestry informativeness used in selecting SNP panels for two-way admixture estimation, and verify the accuracy of our method on simulated populations of admixed offspring. Our method of ancestry deconvolution provides a first step towards selection at the seed or seedling stage for desirable admixture profiles, which will facilitate marker-assisted breeding that aims to introgress traits from wild Vitis species while retaining the desirable characteristics of elite V. vinifera cultivars.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0080791
PMCID: PMC3823699  PMID: 24244717
7.  A Leafhopper-Transmissible DNA Virus with Novel Evolutionary Lineage in the Family Geminiviridae Implicated in Grapevine Redleaf Disease by Next-Generation Sequencing 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(6):e64194.
A graft-transmissible disease displaying red veins, red blotches and total reddening of leaves in red-berried wine grape (Vitis vinifera L.) cultivars was observed in commercial vineyards. Next-generation sequencing technology was used to identify etiological agent(s) associated with this emerging disease, designated as grapevine redleaf disease (GRD). High quality RNA extracted from leaves of grape cultivars Merlot and Cabernet Franc with and without GRD symptoms was used to prepare cDNA libraries. Assembly of highly informative sequence reads generated from Illumina sequencing of cDNA libraries, followed by bioinformatic analyses of sequence contigs resulted in specific identification of taxonomically disparate viruses and viroids in samples with and without GRD symptoms. A single-stranded DNA virus, tentatively named Grapevine redleaf-associated virus (GRLaV), and Grapevine fanleaf virus were detected only in grapevines showing GRD symptoms. In contrast, Grapevine rupestris stem pitting-associated virus, Hop stunt viroid, Grapevine yellow speckle viroid 1, Citrus exocortis viroid and Citrus exocortis Yucatan viroid were present in both symptomatic and non-symptomatic grapevines. GRLaV was transmitted by the Virginia creeper leafhopper (Erythroneura ziczac Walsh) from grapevine-to-grapevine under greenhouse conditions. Molecular and phylogenetic analyses indicated that GRLaV, almost identical to recently reported Grapevine Cabernet Franc-associated virus from New York and Grapevine red blotch-associated virus from California, represents an evolutionarily distinct lineage in the family Geminiviridae with genome characteristics distinct from other leafhopper-transmitted geminiviruses. GRD significantly reduced fruit yield and affected berry quality parameters demonstrating negative impacts of the disease. Higher quantities of carbohydrates were present in symptomatic leaves suggesting their possible role in the expression of redleaf symptoms.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0064194
PMCID: PMC3673993  PMID: 23755117
8.  Grapevine microRNAs responsive to exogenous gibberellin 
BMC Genomics  2014;15:111.
Background
MicroRNAs (miRNAs), involving in various biological and metabolic processes, have been discovered and analyzed in quite a number of plants species, such as Arabidopsis, rice and other plants. However, there have been few reports about grapevine miRNAs in response to gibberelline (GA3).
Results
Solexa technology was used to sequence small RNA libraries constructed from grapevine berries treated with GA3 and the control. A total of 122 known and 90 novel grapevine miRNAs (Vvi-miRNAs) were identified. Totally, 137 ones were found to be clearly responsive to GA3, among which 58 were down-regulated, 51 were up-regulated, 21 could only be detected in the control, and seven were only detected in the treatment. Subsequently, we found that 28 of them were differentially regulated by GA3, with 12 conserved and 16 novel Vvi-miRNAs, based on the analysis of qRT-PCR essays. There existed some consistency in expression levels of GA3-responsive Vvi-miRNAs between high throughput sequencing and qRT-PCR essays. In addition, 117 target genes for 29 novel miRNAs were predicted.
Conclusions
Deep sequencing of short RNAs from grapevine berries treated with GA3 and the control identified 137 GA3-responsive miRNAs, among which 28 exhibited different expression profiles of response to GA3 in the diverse developmental stages of grapevine berries. These identified Vvi-miRNAs might be involved in the grapevine berry development and response to environmental stresses.
doi:10.1186/1471-2164-15-111
PMCID: PMC3937062  PMID: 24507455
Grapevine; Berry; microRNAs; Exogenous gibberellin; High throughput sequencing
9.  Identification of Resveratrol Oligomers as Inhibitors of Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Conductance Regulator by High-Throughput Screening of Natural Products from Chinese Medicinal Plants 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(4):e94302.
Inhibitors of cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) have been widely used for characterizing CFTR function in epithelial fluid transport and in diseases such as secretory diarrhea, polycystic kidney disease and cystic fibrosis. Few small molecule CFTR inhibitors have been discovered so far from combinatorial compound library. In the present study, we used a high throughput screening (HTS)-based natural product discovery strategy to identify new CFTR inhibitors from Chinese medicinal herbs. By screening 40,000 small molecule fractions from 500 herbal plants, we identified 42 positive fractions from 5 herbs and isolated two compounds that inhibited CFTR conductance from Chinese wild grapevine (Vitis amurensis Rupr). Mass spectrometry (MS) and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) studies determined the two active compounds as trans-ε-viniferin (TV) and r-2-viniferin (RV), respectively. Both compounds dose-dependently blocked CFTR-mediated iodide influx with IC50 around 20 μM. Further analysis by excised inside-out patch-clamp indicated strong inhibition of protein kinase A (PKA)-activated CFTR chloride currents by TV and RV. In ex vivo studies, TV and RV inhibited CFTR-mediated short-circuit Cl− currents in isolated rat colonic mucosa in a dose-dependent manner. In a closed-loop mouse model, intraluminal applications of TV (2.5 μg) and RV (4.5 μg) significantly reduced cholera toxin–induced intestinal fluid secretion. The present study identified two resveratrol oligomers as new CFTR inhibitors and validates our high-throughput screening method for discovery of bioactive compounds from natural products with complex chemical ingredients such as herbal plants.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0094302
PMCID: PMC3979805  PMID: 24714160
10.  Unravelling the Diversity of Grapevine Microbiome 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(1):e85622.
Vitis vinifera is one of the most widely cultivated fruit crops with a great economic impact on the global industry. As a plant, it is naturally colonised by a wide variety of both prokaryotic and eukaryotic microorganisms that interact with grapevine, having either beneficial or phytopathogenic effects, who play a major role in fruit yield, grape quality and, ultimately, in the evolution of grape fermentation and wine production. Therefore, the objective of this study was to extensively characterize the natural microbiome of grapevine. Considering that the majority of microorganisms are uncultivable, we have deeply studied the microflora of grapevine leaves using massive parallel rDNA sequencing, along its vegetative cycle. Among eukaryotic population the most abundant microorganisms belonged to the early diverging fungi lineages and Ascomycota phylum, whereas the Basidiomycota were the least abundant. Regarding prokaryotes, a high diversity of Proteobacteria, Firmicutes and Actinobacteria was unveiled. Indeed, the microbial communities present in the vineyard during its vegetative cycle were shown to be highly structured and dynamic. In all cases, the major abundant microorganisms were the yeast-like fungus Aureobasidium and the prokaryotic Enterobacteriaceae. Herein, we report the first complete microbiome landscape of the vineyard, through a metagenomic approach, and highlight the analysis of the microbial interactions within the vineyard and its importance for the equilibrium of the microecosystem of grapevines.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0085622
PMCID: PMC3894198  PMID: 24454903
11.  Bioarchaeological Insights into the Process of Domestication of Grapevine (Vitis vinifera L.) during Roman Times in Southern France 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(5):e63195.
Grapevine (Vitis vinifera), one of the most important fruit species in the Classical Mediterranean world, is thought to have been domesticated first in South-Western Asia, during the Neolithic. However, the domestication process remains largely unknown. Crucial unanswered questions concern the duration of the process (rapid or slow?) and the related geographical area (single or multiple-origins?). Seeds from domesticated grapevine and from its wild ancestor are reported to differ according to shape. Our work aims, first, to confirm this difference and secondly to identify the extent of domestication in the grapes cultivated by Romans in Southern France during the period 50 BCE–500 CE. We had the opportunity to analyze uncharred waterlogged grape pips from 17 archaeological sites. Based on an extended reference sample of modern wild grapevines and cultivars our work shows that both subspecies can be discriminated using simple measurements. The elongation gradient of the pip’s body and stalk may be regarded as an indicator of the strength of the selection pressures undergone by domesticated grapes. Grapevines cultivated during the Roman period included a mix of morphotypes comprising wild, intermediate and moderately selected domesticated forms. Our data point to a relative shift towards more selected types during the Roman period. Domestication of the grapevine appears to have been a slow process. This could result from the recurrent incorporation into cultivation of plants originating from sexual reproduction, when grape cultivation essentially relies on vegetative propagation.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0063195
PMCID: PMC3654964  PMID: 23690998
12.  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
13.  Comparative expression profiling in grape (Vitis vinifera) berries derived from frequency analysis of ESTs and MPSS signatures 
BMC Plant Biology  2008;8:53.
Background
Vitis vinifera (V. vinifera) is the primary grape species cultivated for wine production, with an industry valued annually in the billions of dollars worldwide. In order to sustain and increase grape production, it is necessary to understand the genetic makeup of grape species. Here we performed mRNA profiling using Massively Parallel Signature Sequencing (MPSS) and combined it with available Expressed Sequence Tag (EST) data. These tag-based technologies, which do not require a priori knowledge of genomic sequence, are well-suited for transcriptional profiling. The sequence depth of MPSS allowed us to capture and quantify almost all the transcripts at a specific stage in the development of the grape berry.
Results
The number and relative abundance of transcripts from stage II grape berries was defined using Massively Parallel Signature Sequencing (MPSS). A total of 2,635,293 17-base and 2,259,286 20-base signatures were obtained, representing at least 30,737 and 26,878 distinct sequences. The average normalized abundance per signature was ~49 TPM (Transcripts Per Million). Comparisons of the MPSS signatures with available Vitis species' ESTs and a unigene set demonstrated that 6,430 distinct contigs and 2,190 singletons have a perfect match to at least one MPSS signature. Among the matched sequences, ESTs were identified from tissues other than berries or from berries at different developmental stages. Additional MPSS signatures not matching to known grape ESTs can extend our knowledge of the V. vinifera transcriptome, particularly when these data are used to assist in annotation of whole genome sequences from Vitis vinifera.
Conclusion
The MPSS data presented here not only achieved a higher level of saturation than previous EST based analyses, but in doing so, expand the known set of transcripts of grape berries during the unique stage in development that immediately precedes the onset of ripening. The MPSS dataset also revealed evidence of antisense expression not previously reported in grapes but comparable to that reported in other plant species. Finally, we developed a novel web-based, public resource for utilization of the grape MPSS data [1].
doi:10.1186/1471-2229-8-53
PMCID: PMC2423195  PMID: 18474095
14.  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
15.  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
16.  Physical mapping in highly heterozygous genomes: a physical contig map of the Pinot Noir grapevine cultivar 
BMC Genomics  2010;11:204.
Background
Most of the grapevine (Vitis vinifera L.) cultivars grown today are those selected centuries ago, even though grapevine is one of the most important fruit crops in the world. Grapevine has therefore not benefited from the advances in modern plant breeding nor more recently from those in molecular genetics and genomics: genes controlling important agronomic traits are practically unknown. A physical map is essential to positionally clone such genes and instrumental in a genome sequencing project.
Results
We report on the first whole genome physical map of grapevine built using high information content fingerprinting of 49,104 BAC clones from the cultivar Pinot Noir. Pinot Noir, as most grape varieties, is highly heterozygous at the sequence level. This resulted in the two allelic haplotypes sometimes assembling into separate contigs that had to be accommodated in the map framework or in local expansions of contig maps. We performed computer simulations to assess the effects of increasing levels of sequence heterozygosity on BAC fingerprint assembly and showed that the experimental assembly results are in full agreement with the theoretical expectations, given the heterozygosity levels reported for grape. The map is anchored to a dense linkage map consisting of 994 markers. 436 contigs are anchored to the genetic map, covering 342 of the 475 Mb that make up the grape haploid genome.
Conclusions
We have developed a resource that makes it possible to access the grapevine genome, opening the way to a new era both in grape genetics and breeding and in wine making. The effects of heterozygosity on the assembly have been analyzed and characterized by using several complementary approaches which could be easily transferred to the study of other genomes which present the same features.
doi:10.1186/1471-2164-11-204
PMCID: PMC2865496  PMID: 20346114
17.  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
18.  Molecular and phenotypic characterisation of novel Phaeoacremonium species isolated from esca diseased grapevines 
Petri disease and esca are very destructive grapevine decline diseases that occur in most countries where grapevine (Vitis vinifera) is cultivated. Phaeoacremonium species are among the principal hyphomycetes associated with symptoms of the two diseases, producing a range of enzymes and phytotoxic metabolites. The present study compared the phylogeny of a global collection of 118 Phaeoacremonium isolates from grapevines, in order to gain a better understanding of their involvement in Petri disease and esca. Phylogenetic analyses of combined DNA sequence datasets of actin and β-tubulin genes revealed the presence of 13 species of Phaeoacremonium isolated from esca diseased grapevines. Phaeoacremonium aleophilum was the most frequently isolated species with an incidence up to 80 % of all isolates investigated. Species previously described mainly as human pathogenic species, namely Pm. alvesii, Pm. griseorubrum and Pm. rubrigenum are newly reported on grapevine from Turkey, Italy and Croatia, respectively. Phaeoacremonium viticola and Pm. scotyli represent new records for Italy, as well as Pm. mortoniae for Hungary and Croatia. In addition, four new species of Phaeoacremonium, namely Pm. croatiense, Pm. hungaricum, Pm. sicilianum and Pm. tuscanum are newly described from grapevine based on morphology, cultural characteristics, as well as molecular phylogeny.
doi:10.3767/003158508X374385
PMCID: PMC2846134  PMID: 20396582
actin; β-tubulin; esca; morphology; Phaeoacremonium; phylogeny
19.  Deep Sequencing and Microarray Hybridization Identify Conserved and Species-Specific MicroRNAs during Somatic Embryogenesis in Hybrid Yellow Poplar 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(8):e43451.
Background
To date, several studies have indicated a major role for microRNAs (miRNAs) in regulating plant development, but miRNA-mediated regulation of the developing somatic embryo is poorly understood, especially during early stages of somatic embryogenesis in hardwood plants. In this study, Solexa sequencing and miRNA microfluidic chips were used to discover conserved and species-specific miRNAs during somatic embryogenesis of hybrid yellow poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera×L. chinense).
Methodology/Principal Findings
A total of 17,214,153 reads representing 7,421,623 distinct sequences were obtained from a short RNA library generated from small RNAs extracted from all stages of somatic embryos. Through a combination of deep sequencing and bioinformatic analyses, we discovered 83 sequences with perfect matches to known miRNAs from 33 conserved miRNA families and 273 species-specific candidate miRNAs. MicroRNA microarray results demonstrated that many conserved and species-specific miRNAs were expressed in hybrid yellow poplar embryos. In addition, the microarray also detected another 149 potential miRNAs, belonging to 29 conserved families, which were not discovered by deep sequencing analysis. The biological processes and molecular functions of the targets of these miRNAs were predicted by carrying out BLAST search against Arabidopsis thaliana GenBank sequences and then analyzing the results with Gene Ontology.
Conclusions
Solexa sequencing and microarray hybridization were used to discover 232 candidate conserved miRNAs from 61 miRNA families and 273 candidate species-specific miRNAs in hybrid yellow poplar. In these predicted miRNAs, 64 conserved miRNAs and 177 species-specific miRNAs were detected by both sequencing and microarray hybridization. Our results suggest that miRNAs have wide-ranging characteristics and important roles during all stages of somatic embryogenesis in this economically important species.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0043451
PMCID: PMC3430688  PMID: 22952685
20.  Spliceosomal intron size expansion in domesticated grapevine (Vitis vinifera) 
BMC Research Notes  2011;4:52.
Background
Spliceosomal introns are important components of eukaryotic genes as their structure, sizes and contents reflect the architecture of gene and genomes. Intron size, determined by both neutral evolution, repetitive elements activities and potential functional constraints, varies significantly in eukaryotes, suggesting unique dynamics and evolution in different lineages of eukaryotic organisms. However, the evolution of intron size, is rarely studied. To investigate intron size dynamics in flowering plants, in particular domesticated grapevines, a survey of intron size and content in wine grape (Vitis vinifera Pinot Noir) genes was conducted by assembling and mapping the transcriptome of V. vinifera genes from ESTs to characterize and analyze spliceosomal introns.
Results
Uncommonly large size of spliceosomal intron was observed in V. vinifera genome, otherwise inconsistent with overall genome size dynamics when comparing Arabidopsis, Populus and Vitis. In domesticated grapevine, intron size is generally not related to gene function. The composition of enlarged introns in grapevines indicated extensive transposable element (TE) activity within intronic regions. TEs comprise about 80% of the expanded intron space and in particular, recent LTR retrotransposon insertions are enriched in these intronic regions, suggesting an intron size expansion in the lineage leading to domesticated grapevine, instead of size contractions in Arabidopsis and Populus. Comparative analysis of selected intronic regions in V. vinifera cultivars and wild grapevine species revealed that accelerated TE activity was associated with grapevine domestication, and in some cases with the development of specific cultivars.
Conclusions
In this study, we showed intron size expansion driven by TE activities in domesticated grapevines, likely a result of long-term vegetative propagation and intensive human care, which simultaneously promote TE proliferation and repress TE removal mechanisms such as recombination. The intron size expansion observed in domesticated grapevines provided an example of rapid plant genome evolution in response to artificial selection and propagation, and may shed light on the important genomic changes during domestication. In addition, the transcriptome approach used to gather intron size data significantly improved annotations of the V. vinifera genome.
doi:10.1186/1756-0500-4-52
PMCID: PMC3058033  PMID: 21385391
21.  Resistance to Plasmopara viticola in a grapevine segregating population is associated with stilbenoid accumulation and with specific host transcriptional responses 
BMC Plant Biology  2011;11:114.
Background
Downy mildew, caused by the oomycete Plasmopara viticola, is a serious disease in Vitis vinifera, the most commonly cultivated grapevine species. Several wild Vitis species have instead been found to be resistant to this pathogen and have been used as a source to introgress resistance into a V. vinifera background. Stilbenoids represent the major phytoalexins in grapevine, and their toxicity is closely related to the specific compound. The aim of this study was to assess the resistance response to P. viticola of the Merzling × Teroldego cross by profiling the stilbenoid content of the leaves of an entire population and the transcriptome of resistant and susceptible individuals following infection.
Results
A three-year analysis of the population's response to artificial inoculation showed that individuals were distributed in nine classes ranging from total resistance to total susceptibility. In addition, quantitative metabolite profiling of stilbenoids in the population, carried out using HPLC-DAD-MS, identified three distinct groups differing according to the concentrations present and the complexity of their profiles. The high producers were characterized by the presence of trans-resveratrol, trans-piceid, trans-pterostilbene and up to thirteen different viniferins, nine of them new in grapevine.
Accumulation of these compounds is consistent with a resistant phenotype and suggests that they may contribute to the resistance response.
A preliminary transcriptional study using cDNA-AFLP selected a set of genes modulated by the oomycete in a resistant genotype. The expression of this set of genes in resistant and susceptible genotypes of the progeny population was then assessed by comparative microarray analysis.
A group of 57 genes was found to be exclusively modulated in the resistant genotype suggesting that they are involved in the grapevine-P. viticola incompatible interaction. Functional annotation of these transcripts revealed that they belong to the categories defense response, photosynthesis, primary and secondary metabolism, signal transduction and transport.
Conclusions
This study reports the results of a combined metabolic and transcriptional profiling of a grapevine population segregating for resistance to P. viticola. Some resistant individuals were identified and further characterized at the molecular level. These results will be valuable to future grapevine breeding programs.
doi:10.1186/1471-2229-11-114
PMCID: PMC3170253  PMID: 21838877
22.  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
23.  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
24.  Identification and Characterization of microRNAs from Peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.) by High-Throughput Sequencing 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(11):e27530.
Background
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are noncoding RNAs of approximately 21 nt that regulate gene expression in plants post-transcriptionally by endonucleolytic cleavage or translational inhibition. miRNAs play essential roles in numerous developmental and physiological processes and many of them are conserved across species. Extensive studies of miRNAs have been done in a few model plants; however, less is known about the diversity of these regulatory RNAs in peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.), one of the most important oilseed crops cultivated worldwide.
Results
A library of small RNA from peanut was constructed for deep sequencing. In addition to 126 known miRNAs from 33 families, 25 novel peanut miRNAs were identified. The miRNA* sequences of four novel miRNAs were discovered, providing additional evidence for the existence of miRNAs. Twenty of the novel miRNAs were considered to be species-specific because no homolog has been found for other plant species. qRT-PCR was used to analyze the expression of seven miRNAs in different tissues and in seed at different developmental stages and some showed tissue- and/or growth stage-specific expression. Furthermore, potential targets of these putative miRNAs were predicted on the basis of the sequence homology search.
Conclusions
We have identified large numbers of miRNAs and their related target genes through deep sequencing of a small RNA library. This study of the identification and characterization of miRNAs in peanut can initiate further study on peanut miRNA regulation mechanisms, and help toward a greater understanding of the important roles of miRNAs in peanut.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0027530
PMCID: PMC3217988  PMID: 22110666
25.  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

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