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1.  Stomatal closure is induced by hydraulic signals and maintained by ABA in drought-stressed grapevine 
Scientific Reports  2015;5:12449.
Water saving under drought stress is assured by stomatal closure driven by active (ABA-mediated) and/or passive (hydraulic-mediated) mechanisms. There is currently no comprehensive model nor any general consensus about the actual contribution and relative importance of each of the above factors in modulating stomatal closure in planta. In the present study, we assessed the contribution of passive (hydraulic) vs active (ABA mediated) mechanisms of stomatal closure in V. vinifera plants facing drought stress. Leaf gas exchange decreased progressively to zero during drought, and embolism-induced loss of hydraulic conductance in petioles peaked to ~50% in correspondence with strong daily limitation of stomatal conductance. Foliar ABA significantly increased only after complete stomatal closure had already occurred. Rewatering plants after complete stomatal closure and after foliar ABA reached maximum values did not induced stomatal re-opening, despite embolism recovery and water potential rise. Our data suggest that in grapevine stomatal conductance is primarily regulated by passive hydraulic mechanisms. Foliar ABA apparently limits leaf gas exchange over long-term, also preventing recovery of stomatal aperture upon rewatering, suggesting the occurrence of a mechanism of long-term down-regulation of transpiration to favor embolism repair and preserve water under conditions of fluctuating water availability and repeated drought events.
PMCID: PMC4513549  PMID: 26207993
2.  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

Results 1-2 (2)