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author:("Xu, weihong")
1.  Chinese Wild-Growing Vitis amurensis ICE1 and ICE2 Encode MYC-Type bHLH Transcription Activators that Regulate Cold Tolerance in Arabidopsis 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(7):e102303.
Winter hardiness is an important trait for grapevine breeders and producers, so identification of the regulatory mechanisms involved in cold acclimation is of great potential value. The work presented here involves the identification of two grapevine ICE gene homologs, VaICE1 and VaICE2, from an extremely cold-tolerant accession of Chinese wild-growing Vitis amurnensis, which are phylogenetically related to other plant ICE1 genes. These two structurally different ICE proteins contain previously reported ICE-specific amino acid motifs, the bHLH-ZIP domain and the S-rich motif. Expression analysis revealed that VaICE1 is constitutively expressed but affected by cold stress, unlike VaICE2 that shows not such changed expression as a consequence of cold treatment. Both genes serve as transcription factors, potentiating the transactivation activities in yeasts and the corresponding proteins localized to the nucleus following transient expression in onion epidermal cells. Overexpression of either VaICE1 or VaICE2 in Arabidopsis increase freezing tolerance in nonacclimated plants. Moreover, we show that they result in multiple biochemical changes that were associated with cold acclimation: VaICE1/2-overexpressing plants had evaluated levels of proline, reduced contents of malondialdehyde (MDA) and decreased levels of electrolyte leakage. The expression of downstream cold responsive genes of CBF1, COR15A, and COR47 were significantly induced in Arabidopsis transgenically overexpressing VaICE1 or VaICE2 upon cold stress. VaICE2, but not VaICE1 overexpression induced KIN1 expression under cold-acclimation conditions. Our results suggest that VaICE1 and VaICE2 act as key regulators at an early step in the transcriptional cascade controlling freezing tolerance, and modulate the expression levels of various low-temperature associated genes involved in the C-repeat binding factor (CBF) pathway.
PMCID: PMC4096504  PMID: 25019620
2.  Characterization and Expression Analysis of a Retinoblastoma-Related Gene from Chinese Wild Vitis pseudoreticulata 
Retinoblastoma-related (RBR) genes, a conserved gene family in higher eukaryotes, play important roles in cell differentiation, development, and mammalian cell death; however, little is known of their function in plants. In this study, a RBR gene was isolated from the Chinese wild grape, Vitis pseudoreticulata W. T. Wang clone “Baihe-35-1”, and designated as VpRBR. The cDNA sequence of VpRBR was 3,030 bp and contained an open reading frame of 3,024 bp. Conceptual translation of this gene indicated a composition of 1,007 amino acids with a predicted molecular mass of 117.3 kDa. The predicted protein showed a retinoblastoma-associated protein domain A from amino acid residues 416 to 579, and domain B from residues 726 to 855. The result of expression analysis indicated that VpRBR was expressed in tissues, leaves, stem, tendrils, flower, and grape skin at different expression levels. Further quantitative reverse transcription-PCR (qRT-PCR) data indicated that VpRBR levels were higher in Erysiphe necator-treated “Baihe-35-1” and “Baihe-13-1”, two resistant clones of Chinese wild V. pseudoreticulata, than in E. necator-treated “Hunan-1”, a susceptible clone of V. pseudoreticulata. Furthermore, the expression of VpRBR in response to salicylic acid (SA), methyl jasmonate (MeJA), and ethylene (Eth) in grape leaves was also investigated. Taken together, these data indicate that VpRBR may contribute to some aspect of powdery mildew resistance in grape.
PMCID: PMC3881572  PMID: 24415838
Vitis pseudoreticulata; Retinoblastoma-related gene; Powdery mildew; Expression analysis
3.  Characterization of Erysiphe necator-Responsive Genes in Chinese Wild Vitis quinquangularis 
Powdery mildew (PM), caused by fungus Erysiphe necator, is one of the most devastating diseases of grapevine. To better understand grapevine-PM interaction and provide candidate resources for grapevine breeding, a suppression subtractive hybridization (SSH) cDNA library was constructed from E. necator-infected leaves of a resistant Chinese wild Vitis quinquangularis clone “Shang-24”. A total of 492 high quality expressed sequence tags (ESTs) were obtained and assembled into 266 unigenes. Gene ontology (GO) analysis indicated that 188 unigenes could be assigned with at least one GO term in the biological process category, and 176 in the molecular function category. Sequence analysis showed that a large number of these genes were homologous to those involved in defense responses. Genes involved in metabolism, photosynthesis, transport and signal transduction were also enriched in the library. Expression analysis of 13 selected genes by qRT-PCR revealed that most were induced more quickly and intensely in the resistant material “Shang-24” than in the sensitive V. pseudoreticulata clone “Hunan-1” by E. necator infection. The ESTs reported here provide new clues to understand the disease-resistance mechanism in Chinese wild grapevine species and may enable us to investigate E. necator-responsive genes involved in PM resistance in grapevine germplasm.
PMCID: PMC3472759  PMID: 23109867
Chinese wild Vitis quinquangularis; Erysiphe necator; SSH; EST; qRT-PCR
4.  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

Results 1-4 (4)