Key message: Auxin treatment of grape (Vitis vinifera L.) berries delays ripening by inducing changes in gene expression and cell wall metabolism and could combat some deleterious climate change effects. Auxins are inhibitors of grape berry ripening and their application may be useful to delay harvest to counter effects of climate change. However, little is known about how this delay occurs. The expression of 1892 genes was significantly changed compared to the control during a 48 h time-course where the auxin 1-naphthaleneacetic acid (NAA) was applied to pre-veraison grape berries. Principal component analysis showed that the control and auxin-treated samples were most different at 3 h post-treatment when approximately three times more genes were induced than repressed by NAA. There was considerable cross-talk between hormone pathways, particularly between those of auxin and ethylene. Decreased expression of genes encoding putative cell wall catabolic enzymes (including those involved with pectin) and increased expression of putative cellulose synthases indicated that auxins may preserve cell wall structure. This was confirmed by immunochemical labelling of berry sections using antibodies that detect homogalacturonan (LM19) and methyl-esterified homogalacturonan (LM20) and by labelling with the CMB3a cellulose-binding module. Comparison of the auxin-induced changes in gene expression with the pattern of these genes during berry ripening showed that the effect on transcription is a mix of changes that may specifically alter the progress of berry development in a targeted manner and others that could be considered as non-specific changes. Several lines of evidence suggest that cell wall changes and associated berry softening are the first steps in ripening and that delaying cell expansion can delay ripening providing a possible mechanism for the observed auxin effects.
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.