GiESCO 2019 banner
IVES 9 IVES Conference Series 9 GiESCO 9 Flooding responses on grapevine: a physiological, transcriptional and metabolic perspective

Flooding responses on grapevine: a physiological, transcriptional and metabolic perspective


Context and purpose of the study – Studies on model plants have shown that temporary soil flooding exposes roots to a significant hypoxic stress resulting in metabolic re-programming, accumulation of toxic metabolites and hormonal imbalance. To date, physiological and transcriptional responses to flooding in grapevine are poorly characterized. To fill this gap, we aimed to gain insights into the transcriptional and metabolic changes induced by flooding on grapevine roots (K5BB rootstocks), on which cv Sauvignon blanc (Vitis vinifera L.) plants were grafted.

Material and methods – A preliminary experiment under hydroponic conditions enabled the identification of transiently and steadily regulated hypoxia-responsive marker genes and drafting a model for response to oxygen deprivation in grapevine roots. Afterwards, over two consecutive vegetative seasons, flooding was imposed to potted vines during the late dormancy period, to mimick the most frequent waterlogging events occurring in the field. Untargeted transcriptomic and metabolic profiling approaches were applied to investigate early responses of grapevine roots during exposure to hypoxia and subsequent recovery after stress removal.

Results – The initial hypoxic response was marked by a significant increase of the hypoxia-inducible metabolites ethanol, GABA, succinic acid and alanine which remained high also one week after recovery from flooding with the exception of ethanol that levelled off. Transcriptomic data supported the metabolic changes by indicating a substantial rearrangement of primary metabolic pathways through enhancement of the glycolytic and fermentative enzymes and of a subset of enzymes involved in the TCA cycle. GO and KEGG pathway analyses of differentially expressed genes showed a general down-regulation of brassinosteroid, auxin and gibberellin biosynthesis in waterlogged plants, suggesting a general inhibition of root growth and lateral expansion. During recovery, transcriptional activation of gibberellin biosynthetic genes and down-regulation of the metabolic ones may support a role for gibberellins in signaling grapevine rootstocks waterlogging metabolic and hormonal changes to the above ground plant. The significant internode elongation measured upon budbreak during recovery in plants that had experienced flooding supported this hypothesis. Overall integration of these data enabled us to draft a first comprehensive view of the molecular and metabolic pathways involved in grapevine’s root responses and in the coordination of scion-rootstock signaling during and after exposure to waterlogging.


Publication date: September 28, 2023

Issue: GiESCO 2019

Type: Poster


Benedetto RUPERTI1,2,3, Alessandro BOTTON1,2,3, Francesca POPULIN1, Giulia ECCHER1, Matteo BRILLI4, Silvia QUAGGIOTTI1,3, Sara TREVISAN1, Nadia CAINELLI1, Paola GUARRACINO3, Elisabetta SCHIEVANO3, Franco MEGGIO*1

1 Department of Agronomy Food Natural resources Animals and Environment, University of Padova, Viale dell’Università 16 35020 – Legnaro (PD), Italy
2 Interdepartmental Research Centre for Viticulture and Enology, University of Padova, Conegliano, Italy
3 CRIBI Biotechnology Centre, University of Padova, Padova, Italy
4 Department of Biosciences, University of Milan, Via Giovanni Celoria 26 – 20133 Milano, Italy 5Department of Chemical Sciences, University of Padova, Via Marzolo 1, 35131 Padova, Italy

Contact the author


waterlogging, hypoxia, root, transcriptome, gene expression, Vitis


GiESCO | GiESCO 2019 | IVES Conference Series


Related articles…

Physiological and growth reaction of Shiraz/101-14 Mgt to row orientation and soil water status

Advanced knowledge on grapevine row orientation is required to improve establishment, management and outcomes of vineyards on terroirs with different environmental conditions (climate, soil, topography) and in view of a future change to more extreme climatic conditions. The purpose of this study was to determine the combined effect of row orientation, plant water status and ripeness level on the physiological and viticultural reaction of Shiraz/101-14 Mgt.

Effects of mechanical leafing and deficit irrigation on Cabernet Sauvignon grown in warm climate of California

San Joaquin Valley accounts for 40% of wine grape acreage and produces 70% of wine grape in California. Fruit quality is one of most important factors which impact the economical sustainability of farming wine grapes in this region. Due to the recent drought and expected labor cost increase, the wine industry is thrilled to understand how to improve fruit quality while maintaining the yield with less water and labor input. The present study aims to study the interactive effects of mechanical leafing and deficit irrigation on yield and berry compositions of Cabernet Sauvignon grown in warm climate of California.

The effects of cane girdling on berry texture properties and the concentration of some aroma compounds in three table grape cultivars

The marketability of the table grapes is highly influenced by the consumer demand; therefore the market value of the table grapes is mainly characterized by its berry size, colour, taste and texture. Girdling could cause accumulation of several components in plants above the ringing of the phloem including clusters and resulting improved maturity. The aim of the experiments was to examine the effect of girdling on berry texture characteristics and aroma concentration.

Application of a fluorescence-based method to evaluate the ripening process and quality of Pinot Blanc grape

The chemical composition of grape berries at harvest is one of the most important factors that should be considered to produce high quality wines. Among the different chemical classes which characterize the grape juice, the polyphenolic compound, such as flavonoids, contribute to the final taste and color of wines. Recently, an innovative non-destructive method, based on chlorophyll fluorescence, was developed to estimate the phenolic maturity of red grape varieties through the evaluation of anthocyanins accumulated in the berry skin. To date, only few data are available about the application of this method on white grape varieties.

Different yield regulation strategies in semi-minimal-pruned hedge (SMPH) and impact on bunch architecture

Yields in the novel viticulture training system Semi-Minimal-Pruned Hedge (SMPH) are generally higher compared to the traditional Vertical Shoot Positioning (VSP). Excessive yields have a negative impact on the vine and wine quality, which can result in substantial losses in yield in subsequent vintages (alternate bearing) or penalties in fruit quality. Therefore yield regulation is essential. The bunch architecture in SMPH differs from VSP. Generally there is a higher amount but smaller bunches with lower single berry weights in SMPH compared to VSP.