Functional and molecular characterization of ethylene responsive factor genes involved in grape ripening

Dal Ri, Antonio (2011) Functional and molecular characterization of ethylene responsive factor genes involved in grape ripening, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Colture arboree ed agrosistemi forestali ornamentali e paesaggistici, 23 Ciclo.
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Grape berry is considered a non climacteric fruit, but there are some evidences that ethylene plays a role in the control of berry ripening. This PhD thesis aimed to give insights in the role of ethylene and ethylene-related genes in the regulation of grape berry ripening. During this study a small increase in ethylene concentration one week before véraison has been measured in Vitis vinifera L. ‘Pinot Noir’ grapes confirming previous findings in ‘Cabernet Sauvignon’. In addition, ethylene-related genes have been identified in the grapevine genome sequence. Similarly to other species, biosynthesis and ethylene receptor genes are present in grapevine as multi-gene families and their expression appeared tissue or developmental specific. All the other elements of the ethylene signal transduction cascade were also identified in the grape genome. Among them, there were ethylene response factors (ERF) which modulate the transcription of many effector genes in response to ethylene. In this study seven grapevine ERFs have been characterized and they showed tissue and berry development specific expression profiles. Two sequences, VvERF045 and VvERF063, seemed likely involved in berry ripening control due to their expression profiles and their sequence annotation. VvERF045 was induced before véraison and was specific of the ripe berry, by sequence similarity it was likely a transcription activator. VvERF063 displayed high sequence similarity to repressors of transcription and its expression, very high in green berries, was lowest at véraison and during ripening. To functionally characterize VvERF045 and VvERF063, a stable transformation strategy was chosen. Both sequences were cloned in vectors for over-expression and silencing and transferred in grape by Agrobacterium-mediated or biolistic-mediated gene transfer. In vitro, transgenic VvERF045 over-expressing plants displayed an epinastic phenotype whose extent was correlated to the transgene expression level. Four pathogen stress response genes were significantly induced in the transgenic plants, suggesting a putative function of VvERF045 in biotic stress defense during berry ripening. Further molecular analysis on the transgenic plants will help in identifying the actual VvERF045 target genes and together with the phenotypic characterization of the adult transgenic plants, will allow to extensively define the role of VvERF045 in berry ripening.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Dal Ri, Antonio
Dottorato di ricerca
Scuola di dottorato
Scienze agrarie
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
Ethylene Grape ripening Ethylene response factors gene transfer
Data di discussione
12 Aprile 2011

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