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1.  Solar ultraviolet radiation is necessary to enhance grapevine fruit ripening transcriptional and phenolic responses 
BMC Plant Biology  2014;14:183.
Background
Ultraviolet (UV) radiation modulates secondary metabolism in the skin of Vitis vinifera L. berries, which affects the final composition of both grapes and wines. The expression of several phenylpropanoid biosynthesis-related genes is regulated by UV radiation in grape berries. However, the complete portion of transcriptome and ripening processes influenced by solar UV radiation in grapes remains unknown.
Results
Whole genome arrays were used to identify the berry skin transcriptome modulated by the UV radiation received naturally in a mid-altitude Tempranillo vineyard. UV radiation-blocking and transmitting filters were used to generate the experimental conditions. The expression of 121 genes was significantly altered by solar UV radiation. Functional enrichment analysis of altered transcripts mainly pointed out that secondary metabolism-related transcripts were induced by UV radiation including VvFLS1, VvGT5 and VvGT6 flavonol biosynthetic genes and monoterpenoid biosynthetic genes. Berry skin phenolic composition was also analysed to search for correlation with gene expression changes and UV-increased flavonols accumulation was the most evident impact. Among regulatory genes, novel UV radiation-responsive transcription factors including VvMYB24 and three bHLH, together with known grapevine UV-responsive genes such as VvMYBF1, were identified. A transcriptomic meta-analysis revealed that genes up-regulated by UV radiation in the berry skin were also enriched in homologs of Arabidopsis UVR8 UV-B photoreceptor-dependent UV-B -responsive genes. Indeed, a search of the grapevine reference genomic sequence identified UV-B signalling pathway homologs and among them, VvHY5-1, VvHY5-2 and VvRUP were up-regulated by UV radiation in the berry skin.
Conclusions
Results suggest that the UV-B radiation-specific signalling pathway is activated in the skin of grapes grown at mid-altitudes. The biosynthesis and accumulation of secondary metabolites, which are appreciated in winemaking and potentially confer cross-tolerance, were almost specifically triggered. This draws attention to viticultural practices that increase solar UV radiation on vineyards as they may improve grape features.
doi:10.1186/1471-2229-14-183
PMCID: PMC4099137  PMID: 25012688
Anthocyanins; Flavonols; Fruit ripening; Grapevine; Microarray; Phenolic compounds; Stilbenes; Terpenoids; Ultraviolet radiation; Vitis vinifera
2.  Transcriptional Analysis of Tendril and Inflorescence Development in Grapevine (Vitis vinifera L.) 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(3):e92339.
In grapevine (Vitis vinifera L.), the lateral meristem can give rise to either tendrils or inflorescences which are determined organs. To get insights into the processes of tendril and inflorescence development, we characterized the transcriptional variation taking place in both organs. The results of the global transcriptional analyses along tendril and inflorescence development suggested that these two homologous organs initially share a common transcriptional program related to cell proliferation and growth functions. In later developmental stages they showed organ specific gene expression programs related to the particular differentiation processes taking place in each organ. In this way, tendrils showed higher transcription of genes related to photosynthesis, hormone signaling and secondary metabolism than inflorescences, while inflorescences displayed higher transcriptional activity for genes encoding transcription factors, mainly those belonging to the MADS-box gene family. The expression profiles of selected transcription factors related with inflorescence and flower meristem identity and with flower organogenesis were generally conserved with respect to their homologs in model species. Regarding tendrils, it was interesting to find that genes related with reproductive development in other species were also recruited for grapevine tendril development. These results suggest a role for those genes in the regulation of basic cellular mechanisms common to both developmental processes.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0092339
PMCID: PMC3956920  PMID: 24637773
3.  The genetic structure of Arabidopsis thaliana in the south-western Mediterranean range reveals a shared history between North Africa and southern Europe 
BMC Plant Biology  2014;14:17.
Background
Deciphering the genetic structure of Arabidopsis thaliana diversity across its geographic range provides the bases for elucidating the demographic history of this model plant. Despite the unique A. thaliana genomic resources currently available, its history in North Africa, the extreme southern limit in the biodiversity hotspot of the Mediterranean Basin, remains virtually unknown.
Results
To approach A. thaliana evolutionary history in North Africa, we have analysed the genetic diversity and structure of 151 individuals collected from 20 populations distributed across Morocco. Genotyping of 249 genome-wide SNPs indicated that Morocco contains substantially lower diversity than most analyzed world regions. However, IBD, STRUCTURE and PCA clustering analyses showed that genetic variation is strongly geographically structured. We also determined the genetic relationships between Morocco and the closest European region, the Iberian Peninsula, by analyses of 201 populations from both regions genotyped with the same SNPs. These analyses detected four genetic groups, but all Moroccan accessions belonged to a common Iberian/Moroccan cluster that appeared highly differentiated from the remaining groups. Thus, we identified a genetic lineage with an isolated demographic history in the south-western Mediterranean region. The existence of this lineage was further supported by the study of several flowering genes and traits, which also found Moroccan accessions similar to the same Iberian group. Nevertheless, genetic diversity for neutral SNPs and flowering genes was higher in Moroccan than in Iberian populations of this lineage. Furthermore, we analyzed the genetic relationships between Morocco and other world regions by joint analyses of a worldwide collection of 337 accessions, which detected an additional weak relationship between North Africa and Asia.
Conclusions
The patterns of genetic diversity and structure of A. thaliana in Morocco show that North Africa is part of the species native range and support the occurrence of a glacial refugium in the Atlas Mountains. In addition, the identification of a genetic lineage specific of Morocco and the Iberian Peninsula indicates that the Strait of Gibraltar has been an A. thaliana migration route between Europe and Africa. Finally, the genetic relationship between Morocco and Asia suggests another migration route connecting north-western Africa and Asia.
doi:10.1186/1471-2229-14-17
PMCID: PMC3890648  PMID: 24411008
Arabidopsis thaliana; Population genetics; Natural variation; Genetic diversity; Genetic structure; Demographic history; North Africa; Mediterranean Basin; Glacial refugium/refugia
4.  The Flowering Repressor SVP Underlies a Novel Arabidopsis thaliana QTL Interacting with the Genetic Background 
PLoS Genetics  2013;9(1):e1003289.
The timing of flowering initiation is a fundamental trait for the adaptation of annual plants to different environments. Large amounts of intraspecific quantitative variation have been described for it among natural accessions of many species, but the molecular and evolutionary mechanisms underlying this genetic variation are mainly being determined in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. To find novel A. thaliana flowering QTL, we developed introgression lines from the Japanese accession Fuk, which was selected based on the substantial transgression observed in an F2 population with the reference strain Ler. Analysis of an early flowering line carrying a single Fuk introgression identified Flowering Arabidopsis QTL1 (FAQ1). We fine-mapped FAQ1 in an 11 kb genomic region containing the MADS transcription factor gene SHORT VEGETATIVE PHASE (SVP). Complementation of the early flowering phenotype of FAQ1-Fuk with a SVP-Ler transgen demonstrated that FAQ1 is SVP. We further proved by directed mutagenesis and transgenesis that a single amino acid substitution in SVP causes the loss-of-function and early flowering of Fuk allele. Analysis of a worldwide collection of accessions detected FAQ1/SVP-Fuk allele only in Asia, with the highest frequency appearing in Japan, where we could also detect a potential ancestral genotype of FAQ1/SVP-Fuk. In addition, we evaluated allelic and epistatic interactions of SVP natural alleles by analysing more than one hundred transgenic lines carrying Ler or Fuk SVP alleles in five genetic backgrounds. Quantitative analyses of these lines showed that FAQ1/SVP effects vary from large to small depending on the genetic background. These results support that the flowering repressor SVP has been recently selected in A. thaliana as a target for early flowering, and evidence the relevance of genetic interactions for the intraspecific evolution of FAQ1/SVP and flowering time.
Author Summary
In many plant species, the timing of flowering initiation shows abundant quantitative variation among natural varieties, which reflects the importance of this trait for adaptation to different environments. Currently, a major goal in plant biology is to determine the molecular and evolutionary bases of this natural genetic variation. In this study we demonstrate that the central flowering regulator SHORT VEGETATIVE PHASE (SVP), encoding a MADS transcription factor, is involved in the flowering natural variation of the model organism Arabidopsis thaliana. In particular, we prove that a structural change caused by a single amino acid substitution generates a SVP early flowering allele that is distributed only in Asia. Furthermore, genetic interactions have been shown to be a component of the natural variation for many important adaptive traits. However, very few studies, either in animals or plants, have systematically addressed the extent of genetic interactions among specific alleles responsible for the natural variation of complex traits. Our study shows that the flowering effects of SVP natural alleles depend significantly on the genetic background; and, subsequently, we demonstrate the relevance of epistasis for the evolution of this crucial transcription factor and flowering time.
doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1003289
PMCID: PMC3561112  PMID: 23382706
5.  Correction: Berry Flesh and Skin Ripening Features in Vitis vinifera as Assessed by Transcriptional Profiling 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(10):10.1371/annotation/fd93800a-3b3c-484d-97a9-190043309e4b.
doi:10.1371/annotation/fd93800a-3b3c-484d-97a9-190043309e4b
PMCID: PMC3935808
6.  Transcriptome variation along bud development in grapevine (Vitis vinifera L.) 
BMC Plant Biology  2012;12:181.
Background
Vegetative buds provide plants in temperate environments the possibility for growth and reproduction when environmental conditions are favorable. In grapevine, crucial developmental events take place within buds during two growing seasons in consecutive years. The first season, the shoot apical meristem within the bud differentiates all the basic elements of the shoot including flowering transition in lateral primordia and development of inflorescence primordia. These events practically end with bud dormancy. The second season, buds resume shoot growth associated to flower formation and development. Gene expression has been previously monitored at specific stages of bud development but has never been followed along the two growing seasons.
Results
Gene expression changes were analyzed along the bud annual cycle at eight different time points. Principal Components Analysis (PCA) revealed that the main factors explaining the global gene expression differences were the processes of bud dormancy and active growth as well as stress responses. Accordingly, non dormant buds showed an enrichment in functional categories typical of actively proliferating and growing cells together with the over abundance of transcripts belonging to stress response pathways. Differential expression analyses performed between consecutive time points indicated that major transcriptional changes were associated to para/endodormancy, endo/ecodormancy and ecodormancy/bud break transitions. Transcripts encoding key regulators of reproductive development were grouped in three major expression clusters corresponding to: (i) transcripts associated to flowering induction, (ii) transcripts associated to flower meristem specification and initiation and (iii) transcripts putatively involved in dormancy. Within this cluster, a MADS-box gene (VvFLC2) and other transcripts with similar expression patterns could participate in dormancy regulation.
Conclusions
This work provides a global view of major transcriptional changes taking place along bud development in grapevine, highlighting those molecular and biological functions involved in the main events of bud development. As reported in other woody species, the results suggest that genes regulating flowering could also be involved in dormancy regulatory pathways in grapevine.
doi:10.1186/1471-2229-12-181
PMCID: PMC3519583  PMID: 23035802
Grapevine; Bud development; Dormancy; Flowering; Flower development; Transcriptomics
7.  Berry Flesh and Skin Ripening Features in Vitis vinifera as Assessed by Transcriptional Profiling 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(6):e39547.
Background
Ripening of fleshy fruit is a complex developmental process involving the differentiation of tissues with separate functions. During grapevine berry ripening important processes contributing to table and wine grape quality take place, some of them flesh- or skin-specific. In this study, transcriptional profiles throughout flesh and skin ripening were followed during two different seasons in a table grape cultivar ‘Muscat Hamburg’ to determine tissue-specific as well as common developmental programs.
Methodology/Principal Findings
Using an updated GrapeGen Affymetrix GeneChip® annotation based on grapevine 12×v1 gene predictions, 2188 differentially accumulated transcripts between flesh and skin and 2839 transcripts differentially accumulated throughout ripening in the same manner in both tissues were identified. Transcriptional profiles were dominated by changes at the beginning of veraison which affect both pericarp tissues, although frequently delayed or with lower intensity in the skin than in the flesh. Functional enrichment analysis identified the decay on biosynthetic processes, photosynthesis and transport as a major part of the program delayed in the skin. In addition, a higher number of functional categories, including several related to macromolecule transport and phenylpropanoid and lipid biosynthesis, were over-represented in transcripts accumulated to higher levels in the skin. Functional enrichment also indicated auxin, gibberellins and bHLH transcription factors to take part in the regulation of pre-veraison processes in the pericarp, whereas WRKY and C2H2 family transcription factors seems to more specifically participate in the regulation of skin and flesh ripening, respectively.
Conclusions/Significance
A transcriptomic analysis indicates that a large part of the ripening program is shared by both pericarp tissues despite some components are delayed in the skin. In addition, important tissue differences are present from early stages prior to the ripening onset including tissue-specific regulators. Altogether, these findings provide key elements to understand berry ripening and its differential regulation in flesh and skin.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0039547
PMCID: PMC3386993  PMID: 22768087
8.  Comparative analysis of grapevine whole-genome gene predictions, functional annotation, categorization and integration of the predicted gene sequences 
BMC Research Notes  2012;5:213.
Background
The first draft assembly and gene prediction of the grapevine genome (8X base coverage) was made available to the scientific community in 2007, and functional annotation was developed on this gene prediction. Since then additional Sanger sequences were added to the 8X sequences pool and a new version of the genomic sequence with superior base coverage (12X) was produced.
Results
In order to more efficiently annotate the function of the genes predicted in the new assembly, it is important to build on as much of the previous work as possible, by transferring 8X annotation of the genome to the 12X version. The 8X and 12X assemblies and gene predictions of the grapevine genome were compared to answer the question, “Can we uniquely map 8X predicted genes to 12X predicted genes?” The results show that while the assemblies and gene structure predictions are too different to make a complete mapping between them, most genes (18,725) showed a one-to-one relationship between 8X predicted genes and the last version of 12X predicted genes. In addition, reshuffled genomic sequence structures appeared. These highlight regions of the genome where the gene predictions need to be taken with caution. Based on the new grapevine gene functional annotation and in-depth functional categorization, twenty eight new molecular networks have been created for VitisNet while the existing networks were updated.
Conclusions
The outcomes of this study provide a functional annotation of the 12X genes, an update of VitisNet, the system of the grapevine molecular networks, and a new functional categorization of genes. Data are available at the VitisNet website (http://www.sdstate.edu/ps/research/vitis/pathways.cfm).
doi:10.1186/1756-0500-5-213
PMCID: PMC3419625  PMID: 22554261
9.  Temporal analysis of natural variation for the rate of leaf production and its relationship with flowering initiation in Arabidopsis thaliana 
Journal of Experimental Botany  2010;61(6):1611-1623.
Vegetative growth and flowering initiation are two crucial developmental processes in the life cycle of annual plants that are closely associated. The timing of both processes affects several presumed adaptive traits, such as flowering time (FT), total leaf number (TLN), or the rate of leaf production (RLP). However, the interactions among these complex processes and traits, and their mechanistic bases, remain largely unknown. To determine the genetic relationships between them, the natural genetic variation between A. thaliana accessions Fei-0 and Ler has been studied using a new population of 222 Ler×Fei-0 recombinant inbred lines. Temporal analysis of the parental development under a short day photoperiod distinguishes two vegetative phases differing in their RLP. QTL mapping of RLP in consecutive time intervals of vegetative development indicates that Ler/Fei-0 variation is caused by 10 loci whose small to moderate effects mainly display two different temporal patterns. Further comparative QTL analyses show that most of the genomic regions affecting FT or TLN also alter RLP. In addition, the partially independent genetic bases observed for FT and TLN appear determined by several genomic regions with two different patterns of phenotypic effects: regions with a larger effect on FT than TLN, and vice versa. The distinct temporal and pleiotropic patterns of QTL effects suggest that natural variation for flowering time is caused by different genetic mechanisms involved in vegetative and/or reproductive phase changes, most of them interacting with the control of leaf production rate. Thus, natural selection might contribute to maintain this genetic variation due to its phenotypic effects not only on the timing of flowering initiation but also on the rate of vegetative growth.
doi:10.1093/jxb/erq032
PMCID: PMC2852658  PMID: 20190039
Arabidopsis thaliana; flowering locus C (FLC); flowering time; growth; HUA2; natural variation; plastochron; quantitative trait locus (QTL); rate of leaf production; vegetative development
10.  A high-density collection of EMS-induced mutations for TILLING in Landsberg erecta genetic background of Arabidopsis 
BMC Plant Biology  2009;9:147.
Background
Arabidopsis thaliana is the main model species for plant molecular genetics studies and world-wide efforts are devoted to identify the function of all its genes. To this end, reverse genetics by TILLING (Targeting Induced Local Lesions IN Genomes) in a permanent collection of chemically induced mutants is providing a unique resource in Columbia genetic background. In this work, we aim to extend TILLING resources available in A. thaliana by developing a new population of ethyl methanesulphonate (EMS) induced mutants in the second commonest reference strain. In addition, we pursue to saturate the number of EMS induced mutations that can be tolerated by viable and fertile plants.
Results
By mutagenizing with different EMS concentrations we have developed a permanent collection of 3712 M2/M3 independent mutant lines in the reference strain Landsberg erecta (Ler) of A. thaliana. This population has been named as the Arabidopsis TILLer collection. The frequency of mutations per line was maximized by using M1 plants with low but sufficient seed fertility. Application of TILLING to search for mutants in 14 genes identified 21 to 46 mutations per gene, which correspond to a total of 450 mutations. Missense mutations were found for all genes while truncations were selected for all except one. We estimated that, on average, these lines carry one mutation every 89 kb, Ler population providing a total of more than five million induced mutations. It is estimated that TILLer collection shows a two to three fold higher EMS mutation density per individual than previously reported A. thaliana population.
Conclusions
Analysis of TILLer collection demonstrates its usefulness for large scale TILLING reverse genetics in another reference genetic background of A. thaliana. Comparisons with TILLING populations in other organisms indicate that this new A. thaliana collection carries the highest chemically induced mutation density per individual known in diploid species.
doi:10.1186/1471-2229-9-147
PMCID: PMC2803491  PMID: 20003424
11.  Synergistic effect of methyljasmonate and cyclodextrin on stilbene biosynthesis pathway gene expression and resveratrol production in Monastrell grapevine cell cultures 
BMC Research Notes  2008;1:132.
Background
Plant cell cultures have been shown as feasible systems for the production of secondary metabolites, being the elicitation with biotic or abiotic stimuli the most efficient strategy to increase the production of those metabolites. Vitaceae phytoalexins constitute a group of molecules belonging to the stilbene family which are derivatives of the trans-resveratrol structure and are produced by plants and cell cultures as a response to biotic and abiotic stresses. The potential benefits of resveratrol on human health have made it one of the most thoroughly studied phytochemical molecules. The aim of this study was to evaluate the elicitor effect of both cyclodextrin (CD) and methyljasmonate (MeJA) on grapevine cell cultures by carrying out a quantitative analysis of their role on resveratrol production and on the expression of stilbene biosynthetic genes in Vitis vinifera cv Monastrell albino cell suspension cultures.
Findings
MeJA and CD significantly but transiently induced the expression of stilbene biosynthetic genes when independently used to treat grapevine cells. This expression correlated with resveratrol production in CD-treated cells but not in MeJA-treated cells, which growth was drastically affected. In the combined treatment of CD and MeJA cell growth was similarly affected, however resveratrol production was almost one order of magnitude higher, in correlation with maximum expression values for stilbene biosynthetic genes.
Conclusion
The effect of MeJA on cell division combined with a true and strong elicitor like CD could be responsible for the observed synergistic effect of both compounds on resveratrol production and on the expression of genes in the stilbene pathway.
doi:10.1186/1756-0500-1-132
PMCID: PMC2628674  PMID: 19102745
12.  High throughput SNP discovery and genotyping in grapevine (Vitis vinifera L.) by combining a re-sequencing approach and SNPlex technology 
BMC Genomics  2007;8:424.
Background
Single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) are the most abundant type of DNA sequence polymorphisms. Their higher availability and stability when compared to simple sequence repeats (SSRs) provide enhanced possibilities for genetic and breeding applications such as cultivar identification, construction of genetic maps, the assessment of genetic diversity, the detection of genotype/phenotype associations, or marker-assisted breeding. In addition, the efficiency of these activities can be improved thanks to the ease with which SNP genotyping can be automated. Expressed sequence tags (EST) sequencing projects in grapevine are allowing for the in silico detection of multiple putative sequence polymorphisms within and among a reduced number of cultivars. In parallel, the sequence of the grapevine cultivar Pinot Noir is also providing thousands of polymorphisms present in this highly heterozygous genome. Still the general application of those SNPs requires further validation since their use could be restricted to those specific genotypes.
Results
In order to develop a large SNP set of wide application in grapevine we followed a systematic re-sequencing approach in a group of 11 grape genotypes corresponding to ancient unrelated cultivars as well as wild plants. Using this approach, we have sequenced 230 gene fragments, what represents the analysis of over 1 Mb of grape DNA sequence. This analysis has allowed the discovery of 1573 SNPs with an average of one SNP every 64 bp (one SNP every 47 bp in non-coding regions and every 69 bp in coding regions). Nucleotide diversity in grape (π = 0.0051) was found to be similar to values observed in highly polymorphic plant species such as maize. The average number of haplotypes per gene sequence was estimated as six, with three haplotypes representing over 83% of the analyzed sequences. Short-range linkage disequilibrium (LD) studies within the analyzed sequences indicate the existence of a rapid decay of LD within the selected grapevine genotypes. To validate the use of the detected polymorphisms in genetic mapping, cultivar identification and genetic diversity studies we have used the SNPlex™ genotyping technology in a sample of grapevine genotypes and segregating progenies.
Conclusion
These results provide accurate values for nucleotide diversity in coding sequences and a first estimate of short-range LD in grapevine. Using SNPlex™ genotyping we have shown the application of a set of discovered SNPs as molecular markers for cultivar identification, linkage mapping and genetic diversity studies. Thus, the combination a highly efficient re-sequencing approach and the SNPlex™ high throughput genotyping technology provide a powerful tool for grapevine genetic analysis.
doi:10.1186/1471-2164-8-424
PMCID: PMC2212664  PMID: 18021442

Results 1-12 (12)