Genome-wide transcriptional profiles of the berry skin of two red grape cultivars (Vitis vinifera) in which anthocyanin synthesis is sunlight-dependent or -independent

Ben-Hong Wu, Yue-Gang Cao, Le Guan, Hai-Ping Xin, Ji-Hu Li, Shao-Hua Li
PloS One 2014, 9 (8): e105959
Global gene expression was analyzed in the berry skin of two red grape cultivars, which can ('Jingyan') or cannot ('Jingxiu') synthesize anthocyanins after sunlight exclusion from fruit set until maturity. Gene transcripts responding to sunlight exclusion in 'Jingyan' were less complex than in 'Jingxiu'; 528 genes were induced and 383 repressed in the former, whereas 2655 genes were induced and 205 suppressed in 'Jingxiu'. They were regulated either in the same or opposing manner in the two cultivars, or in only one cultivar. In addition to VvUFGT and VvMYBA1, some candidate genes (e.g. AOMT, GST, and ANP) were identified which are probably involved in the differential responses of 'Jingxiu' and 'Jingyan' to sunlight exclusion. In addition, 26 MYB, 14 bHLH and 23 WD40 genes responded differently to sunlight exclusion in the two cultivars. Interestingly, all of the 189 genes classified as being relevant to ubiquitin-dependent protein degradation were down-regulated by sunlight exclusion in 'Jingxiu', but the majority (162) remained unchanged in 'Jingyan' berry skin. It would be of interest to determine the precise role of the ubiquitin pathway following sunlight exclusion, particularly the role of COP9 signalosome, cullins, RING-Box 1, and COP1-interacting proteins. Only a few genes in the light signal system were found to be regulated by sunlight exclusion in either or both cultivars. This study provides a valuable overview of the transcriptome changes and gives insight into the genetic background that may be responsible for sunlight-dependent versus -independent anthocyanin biosynthesis in berry skin.

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