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Grape flavonoid project
Posted 14 Dec 2015 by moserc
Grapevine (Vitis species) is among the most important fruit crops in terms of cultivated area and economic impact but also for the large requirement of pesticides. Despite this relevance, little is known about the molecular regulatory circuits underlying the physiology of this species. Clearly, a greater knowledge of the grapevine biology would have a positive effect on management practices and on breeding leading ultimately to a more sustainable viticulture.
A “green” viticulture, that is a more sustainable grape growing which meets the needs of the present without compromising the livelihood and needs of future generations, is an emerging demand of the society. And this holds true for the Trentino province as well, where vineyards are often located next to the villages.
Today, we are in the fortunate situation of dissecting the molecular regulatory circuits of grapevine at unprecedented pace, thanks to the knowledge built up in the last 10 years. Since the discovery of the grapevine genome sequence in 2007 (Jaillon et al. Nature, Velasco et al. PlosOne) the expression of the ca. 30,000 genes it contains have been measured in dozens of controlled experiments and are publicly available (http://vitis.colombos.fmach.it/).
In grapevine flavonoids constitute one of the most abundant subgroups of secondary metabolites of the fruit, influencing quality, health-value and typicity of wines. Their synthesis in many plant species is mainly regulated at transcriptional level by transcription factors which modulate the expression of the genes of the pathway. In this specific TN-grid project our aim is to gain new knowledge about the grapevine flavonoid pathway, finding new genes which are part of it or have a regulatory effect on this pathway. These new insights will help in the long term, to grow better quality grapes by a more sustainable viticulture.