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The ripening disorder berry shrivel affects anthocyanin biosynthesis and sugar metabolism in Zweigelt grape berries

Griesser, Michaela, Martinez, SaraCrespo, Eitle, MarkusW., Warth, Benedikt, Andre, ChristelleM., Schuhmacher, Rainer, Forneck, Astrid
Planta 2018 v.247 no.2 pp. 471-481
acidity, anion exchange chromatography, anthocyanins, beta-fructofuranosidase, biosynthesis, caftaric acid, cyanidin, delphinidin, enzyme activity, genes, glucose transporters, grapes, polyphenols, quantitative polymerase chain reaction, ripening, small fruits, sugar content, sugars, tandem mass spectrometry, vacuoles
MAIN CONCLUSION: Timescale analyses suggest the berry shrivel (BS) disorder is induced before veraison with strong effects on anthocyanin biosynthesis, and minor effects on sugar transport and metabolism. Berry shrivel (BS)-affected grapes have low sugar contents, high acidity, less anthocyanins and flaccid berries. To date no pathogenic causes are known, and studies to elucidate the molecular basis leading to symptom induction and development are limited. Here we present a study on pre-symptomatic as well as symptomatic BS berries to characterize early metabolic changes, with focus on anthocyanin biosynthesis and sugars metabolism. Healthy and BS berries from six sampling time points were used (BBCH79–BBCH89). Our objectives are (1) to search for the beginning of BS-related physiological processes; (2) to search for key enzymes and sugar transporters involved in BS induction and development and (3) to understand the consequences on polyphenol biosynthesis. We employed high performance anion exchange chromatography coupled with pulsed amperometric detection (HPAEC-PAD) and liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry (LC–MS/MS) technology for sugar and polyphenol analyses, respectively. Additionally we conducted expression analyses (qPCR) of key genes and enzymatic activity assays. Our results show that BS-related processes start before veraison, as determined by slightly reduced hexose contents and reduced expression levels of a vacuolar invertase (VviGIN1), two monosaccharide transporters (VviTMT2, VviTMT3) and the anthocyanin biosynthesis (VviUFGT, VviMYBA1/2) genes. Lower amounts of delphinidin and cyanidin glycosidic forms were determined, while caftaric acid, quercetin-3-O-glucuronide and (+)-catechin were increased in BS berries. Although not all results were conclusive, especially for the sugar metabolism, our data provide important knowledge to improve the understanding of the highly complex berry shrivel ripening disorder.