terclim by ICS banner
IVES 9 IVES Conference Series 9 International Congress on Grapevine and Wine Sciences 9 2ICGWS-2023 9 Mapping grapevine metabolites in response to pathogen challenge: a Mass Spectrometry Imaging approach

Mapping grapevine metabolites in response to pathogen challenge: a Mass Spectrometry Imaging approach


Every year, viticulture is facing several outbreaks caused by established diseases, such as downy mildew and grey mould, which possess different life cycles and modes of infection. To cope with these different aggressors, grapevine must recognize them and arm itself with an arsenal of defense strategies.

The regulation of secondary metabolites is one of the first reactions of plants upon pathogen challenge. Their rapid biosynthesis can highly contribute to strengthen the defense mechanisms allowing the plant to adapt, defend and survive. Most of the works published so far, have focused on untargeted and/or targeted metabolite accumulations in a sample pool of an infected tissue. However, with these approaches it is not possible to obtain knowledge about the actual localization of the accumulated metabolites nor their specific sites of action.

Mass spectrometry imaging (MSI) analytical techniques enable to visualize and map the spatial distribution of metabolites within plant tissues allowing to a better understanding of metabolite biosynthesis, localization and functions[1].

We have studied the spatial distribution of different metabolites in grapevine leaves infected with different pathogens, using Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption Ionization-MSI. Our results demonstrated that in grapevine-P. viticola interaction, putatively identified sucrose presented a higher accumulation mainly in the veins of the leaves, leading to the hypothesis that sucrose metabolism is being manipulated by the development structures of P. viticola[2]. Also, in grapevine leaves infected with B. cinerea, our results show that putatively identified stilbene phytoalexins accumulate in areas close to infection sites, with a high molecular diversity as evidenced by the detection of various oligomeric forms[3].

Our work opens new doors for the scientific community to gain a comprehensive understanding of the dynamics and variations of metabolite profiles in grapevine organs, at different developmental stages and under various stress conditions. This knowledge is crucial for elucidating the role of specific metabolites in grapevine defense mechanisms, identify specific regions of high or low metabolite production, which can contribute to targeted breeding to enhance disease resistance traits and impact grapevine productivity and quality.

Acknowledgements: Work funded by FCT-Portugal – research contract 2022.07433.CEECIND.


  1. Maia M. et al. (2022). Molecular Localization of Phytoalexins at the Micron Scale: Towards a Better Understanding of Plant-Phytoalexin-Pathogen Dynamics. J. Agric. Food Chem. 70, 30, 9243–9245, DOI 10.1021/acs.jafc.2c04208
  2. Maia M. et al. (2022) Grapevine Leaf MALDI-MS Imaging Reveals the Localisation of a Putatively Identified Sucrose Metabolite Associated to Plasmopara Viticola Front. Plant Sci. 13:1012636, DOI 10.3389/fpls.2022.1012636
  3. Maia M. et al. (Submitted) Profiling and localization of stilbene phytoalexins revealed by MALDI-MSI during the grapevine-Botrytis cinerea J. Agric. Food Chem.


Publication date: October 5, 2023

Issue: ICGWS 2023

Type: Article


Marisa Maia1,2,3*, Aziz Aziz4, Philippe Jeandet4, Andreia Figueiredo1,2, Vincent Carré3

1Grapevine Pathogen Systems Lab., Biosystems and Integrative Sciences Institute, Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa, Lisboa, Portugal
2Departamento de Biologia Vegetal, Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa, Lisboa, Portugal
3LCP-A2MC, Université de Lorraine, Metz, France
4RIBP, USC INRAE 1488, University of Reims Champagne-Ardenne, Reims, France

Contact the author*


Mass Spectrometry Imaging, metabolomics, grapevine-pathogen interaction


2ICGWS | ICGWS | ICGWS 2023 | IVES Conference Series


Related articles…

Foliar application of urea improved the nitrogen composition of Chenin grapes

The nitrogen composition of the grapes directly affects the developments of alcoholic fermentation and influences the final aromatic composition of the wines. The aim of this study was to determine the effect and efficiency of foliar applications of urea on the nitrogen composition of grapes. This study was carried out during 2023 vintage and in the Chenin vineyard located in Estacion Experimental Mendoza (Argentina). Three urea concentrations 3, 6 and 9 Kg N/ha (C1, C2, and C3, respectively) and control (T) were applied in this vineyard at veraison.

Metabolomic profiling of botrytized grape berries: unravelling the dynamic chemical transformations during noble rot

Botrytis cinerea, a fungal pathogen commonly known as grey mold, which under specific climatic conditions can develop into a desirable form known as noble rot. In this process the fungus penetrates the grape skin, allowing water evaporation and concentration of sugars and flavors, while profoundly affects the metabolite composition of grapes, leading to the production of unique and desirable compounds in the resulting wines. The result is a unique and complex wine with a luscious sweetness, heightened aromatics, and a distinct character.

Prediction of aromatic attributes of red wines from its colour properties 

Wine perception is a multisensory experience that makes use of the sight, smell, and taste senses. When wine is sensorially assessed, the stimulus received generates multiple signals that tasters convert into organoleptic descriptors. Colour is commonly the first attribute evaluated during wine tasting. Moreover, the colour properties provide the taster with a priori information of the wine’s aroma. This preconceived perception is later confirmed or denied during the aroma evaluation.

Use of UHPH to improve the implantation of non-Saccharomyces yeasts

Ultra High-Pressure Homogenization (UHPH) is a high-pressure pumping at 300 MPa (>200 MPa) with a subsequent depressurization against a highly resistant valve made of tungsten carbide covered by ceramic materials or carbon nanoparticles. The intense impact and shear efforts produce the nano-fragmentation of colloidal biopolymers including the elimination of microorganism (pasteurization or sterilization depending on in-valve temperature) and the inactivation of enzymes.

Drought responses of grapevine cultivars under different environments

Using grapevine genetic diversity is one of the strategies to adapt viticulture to climate change. In this sense, assessing the plasticity of cultivars in their responses to environmental conditions is essential. For this purpose, the drought tolerance of Grenache, Tempranillo and Semillon cultivars grafted onto SO4 was evaluated at two experimental vineyards, one located in Valencia (Spain) and the other in Bordeaux (France). This was done by assessing gas exchange parameters, water relations and leaf hydraulic traits at the end of the season.