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Developmental, transcriptome, and genetic alterations associated with parthenocarpy in the grapevine seedless somatic variant Corinto bianco

AuthorsRoyo, Carolina ; Carbonell-Bejerano, Pablo ; Torres-Pérez, Rafael; Nebish, A.; Martínez, Óscar; Rey, Manuel; Aroutiounian, R.; Ibáñez Marcos, Javier ; Martínez-Zapater, José M.
Embryo sac
Pollen sterility
Somatic variation
Unreduced gamete
Vitis vinifera
Issue DateJan-2016
PublisherOxford University Press
CitationJournal of Experimental Botany 67(1): 259–273 (2016)
AbstractSeedlessness is a relevant trait in grapevine cultivars intended for fresh consumption or raisin production. Previous DNA marker analysis indicated that Corinto bianco (CB) is a parthenocarpic somatic variant of the seeded cultivar Pedro Ximenes (PX). This study compared both variant lines to determine the basis of this parthenocarpic phenotype. At maturity, CB seedless berries were 6-fold smaller than PX berries. The macrogametophyte was absent from CB ovules, and CB was also pollen sterile. Occasionally, one seed developed in 1.6% of CB berries. Microsatellite genotyping and flow cytometry analyses of seedlings generated from these seeds showed that most CB viable seeds were formed by fertilization of unreduced gametes generated by meiotic diplospory, a process that has not been described previously in grapevine. Microarray and RNA-sequencing analyses identified 1958 genes that were differentially expressed between CB and PX developing flowers. Genes downregulated in CB were enriched in gametophyte-preferentially expressed transcripts, indicating the absence of regular post-meiotic germline development in CB. RNA-sequencing was also used for genetic variant calling and 14 single-nucleotide polymorphisms distinguishing the CB and PX variant lines were detected. Among these, CB-specific polymorphisms were considered as candidate parthenocarpy-responsible mutations, including a putative deleterious substitution in a HAL2-like protein. Collectively, these results revealed that the absence of a mature macrogametophyte, probably due to meiosis arrest, coupled with a process of fertilization-independent fruit growth, caused parthenocarpy in CB. This study provides a number of grapevine parthenocarpy-responsible candidate genes and shows how genomic approaches can shed light on the genetic origin of woody crop somatic variants.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jxb/erv452
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