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Flavescence Dorée-Derived Leaf Yellowing in Grapevine (Vitis vinifera L.) Is Associated to a General Repression of Isoprenoid Biosynthetic Pathways

TitleFlavescence Dorée-Derived Leaf Yellowing in Grapevine (Vitis vinifera L.) Is Associated to a General Repression of Isoprenoid Biosynthetic Pathways
Publication TypeArticolo su Rivista peer-reviewed
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsTeixeira, A., Martins V., Frusciante Sarah, Cruz T., Noronha H., Diretto Gianfranco, and Geros H.

Flavescence dorée (FD), caused by the phytoplasma Candidatus Phytoplasma vitis, is a major threat to vineyard survival in different European grape-growing areas. It has been recorded in French vineyards since the mid-1950s, and rapidly spread to other countries. In Portugal, the phytoplasma was first detected in the DOC region of ‘Vinhos Verdes’ in 2006, and reached the central region of the country in 2009. The infection causes strong accumulation of carbohydrates and phenolics in the mesophyll cells and a simultaneous decrease of chlorophylls, events accompanied by a down regulation of genes and proteins involved in the dark and light-dependent reactions and stabilization of the photosystem II (PSII). In the present study, to better elucidate the basis of the leaf chlorosis in infected grapevine cv. Loureiro, we studied the isoprenoid transcript–metabolite correlation in leaves from healthy and FD-infected vines. Specifically, targeted metabolome revealed that twenty-one compounds (out of thirty-two), including chlorophylls, carotenoids, quinones and tocopherols, were reduced in response to FD-infection. Thereafter, and consistently with the biochemical data, qPCR analysis highlighted a severe FD-mediated repression in key genes involved in isoprenoid biosynthetic pathways. A more diverse set of changes, on the contrary, was observed in the case of ABA metabolism. Principal component analysis (PCA) of all identified metabolites clearly separated healthy from FD-infected vines, therefore confirming that the infection strongly alters the biosynthesis of grapevine isoprenoids; additionally, forty-four genes and metabolites were identified as the components mostly explaining the variance between healthy and infected samples. Finally, transcript–metabolite network correlation analyses were exploited to display the main hubs of the infection process, which highlighted a strong role of VvCHLG, VvVTE and VvZEP genes and the chlorophylls intermediates aminolevulunic acid and porphobilinogen in response to FD infection. Overall, results indicated that the FD infection impairs the synthesis of isoprenoids, through the repression of key genes involved in the biosynthesis of chlorophylls, carotenoids, quinones and tocopherols. © Copyright © 2020 Teixeira, Martins, Frusciante, Cruz, Noronha, Diretto and Gerós.


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Citation Key 20.500.12079_57565