Transcriptional analysis of late ripening stages of grapevine berryReport as inadecuate

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BMC Plant Biology

, 11:165

First Online: 18 November 2011Received: 05 July 2011Accepted: 18 November 2011


BackgroundThe composition of grapevine berry at harvest is a major determinant of wine quality. Optimal oenological maturity of berries is characterized by a high sugar-acidity ratio, high anthocyanin content in the skin, and low astringency. However, harvest time is still mostly determined empirically, based on crude biochemical composition and berry tasting. In this context, it is interesting to identify genes that are expressed-repressed specifically at the late stages of ripening and which may be used as indicators of maturity.

ResultsWhole bunches and berries sorted by density were collected in vineyard on Chardonnay white cultivar grapevines for two consecutive years at three stages of ripening 7-days before harvest TH-7, harvest TH, and 10-days after harvest TH+10. Microvinification and sensory analysis indicate that the quality of the wines made from the whole bunches collected at TH-7, TH and TH+10 differed, TH providing the highest quality wines.

In parallel, gene expression was studied with Qiagen-Operon microarrays using two types of samples, i.e. whole bunches and berries sorted by density. Only 12 genes were consistently up- or down-regulated in whole bunches and density sorted berries for the two years studied in Chardonnay. 52 genes were differentially expressed between the TH-7 and TH samples. In order to determine whether these genes followed a similar pattern of expression during the late stages of berry ripening in a red cultivar, nine genes were selected for RT-PCR analysis with Cabernet Sauvignon grown under two different temperature regimes affecting the precocity of ripening. The expression profiles and their relationship to ripening were confirmed in Cabernet Sauvignon for seven genes, encoding a carotenoid cleavage dioxygenase, a galactinol synthase, a late embryogenesis abundant protein, a dirigent-like protein, a histidine kinase receptor, a valencene synthase and a putative S-adenosyl-L-methionine:salicylic acid carboxyl methyltransferase.

ConclusionsThis set of up- and down-regulated genes characterize the late stages of berry ripening in the two cultivars studied, and are indirectly linked to wine quality. They might be used directly or indirectly to design immunological, biochemical or molecular tools aimed at the determination of optimal ripening in these cultivars.

List of abbreviationsbZIPbasic leucine zipper

BWbase wine

CCDcarotenoid cleavage dioxygenase

CIVCComité Interprofessionnel du Vin de Champagne


DMUdecanted must

DSBdensimetrically sorted berries



GAgibberellic acid

GolSgalactinol synthase

GRIPgrape ripening-induced protein

GTglycosyl transferase

HKhistidine kinase

HKRhistidine kinase receptor

HRhypersensitive response

IAAindole-3-acetic acid

LEAlate embryogenesis abundant protein

LRRleucine-rich repeat

OIVInternational Organization of Vine and Wine

PALphenylalanine ammonia-lyase


PLpectate lyase

PRpathogenesis-related protein

RALFrapid alkalinisation factor

RFOsraffinose family oligosaccharides

SAMTS-adenosyl-L-methionine:salicylic acid carboxyl methyltransferase

SARsystemic acquired resistance

SEstandard error

smHSPsmall molecular weight heat shock protein

TCPTeosinte Branched1; Cycloidea and PCF

THtheoretical harvest

TH-77-days before theoretical harvest

TH+1010-days after theoretical harvest

TIPtonoplast intrinsic protein

V-ATPaseVacuolar H+-transporting adenosine triphosphatase

V-PPaseVacuolar H+-translocating inorganic pyrophosphatase

ValCS+-valencene synthase

VvVitis vinifera

VvGIVitis vinifera Gene index

WBBwhole bunch berries

XTHxyloglucan endotransglycosylase-hydrolase.

Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-1471-2229-11-165 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Sabine Guillaumie, Romain Fouquet contributed equally to this work.

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Author: Sabine Guillaumie - Romain Fouquet - Christian Kappel - Céline Camps - Nancy Terrier - Dominique Moncomble - Jake D Dunle


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