De novo Vitis champinii whole genome assembly allows rootstock-specific identification of potential candidate genes for drought and salt tolerance

Vitis champinii cultivars Ramsey and Dog-ridge are main choices for rootstocks to adapt viticulture in semi-arid and arid regions thanks to their distinctive tolerance to drought and salinity. However, genetic studies on non-vinifera rootstocks have heavily relied on the grapevine (Vitis vinifera) reference genome, which difficulted the assessment of the genetic variation between rootstock species and grapevines. In the present study, this limitation is addressed by introducing a novo phased genome assembly and annotation of Vitis champinii. This new Vitis champinii genome was employed as reference for mapping RNA-seq reads from the same species under drought and salt stressesand for comparison the same reads were also mapped to the Vitis vinifera PN40024.V4 reference genome. A significant increase in alignment rate was gained when mapping Vitis champinii RNA-seq reads to its own genome, compared to the Vitis vinifera PN40024.V4 reference genome, thus revealing the expression levels of genes specific to Vitis champinii. Moreover, differences in coding sequences were observed in ortholog genes between Vitis champinii and Vitis vinifera, which therefore challenges previous differential expression analyses performed between contrasting Vitis genotypes on the same gene from the Vitis vinifera genome. Genes with possible implications in drought and salt tolerance have been identified across the genome of Vitis champinii, and the same genomic data can potentially guide the discovery of candidate genes specific from Vitis champinii for other traits of interest, therefore becoming a valuable resource for rootstock breeding designs, specially towards increased drought and salinity due to climate change.

Authors: Andres Zhou-Tsang1,2, Grant R. Cramer5, Cristobal A. Onetto3, Amanda R. Walker4, Anthony R. Borneman3,1 and Matthew Gilliham2,1

1Australian Research Council Training Centre for Innovative Wine Production, The University of Adelaide, Glen Osmond SA, Australia
2The Waite Research Institute, and The School of Agriculture, Food and Wine, Faculty of Sciences, The University of Adelaide, Glen Osmond SA, Australia
3The Australian Wine Research Institute, Glen Osmond SA, Australia
4CSIRO Agriculture and Food, Glen Osmond SA, Australia
5Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Nevada, Reno NV, USA


Keywords: Ramsey, Dogridge, rootstock, genome, drought, salt, ortholog, RNAseq

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