, Volume 108, Issue 2, pp 111-120

Study of Defense-related Gene Expression in Grapevine Leaves and Berries Infected with Botrytis cinerea

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Defense responses of grapevine towards Botrytis cinerea were investigated. The expression of genes coding for proteins involved in defense were studied: (a) phenylalanine ammonia-lyase (PAL) and stilbene synthase (StSy), (b) an acidic chitinase (VCH3) and a basic chitinase (VCHIT1b), and (c) a polygalacturonase inhibitor protein (PGIP). Since no PGIP was known in grapevine, a complete cDNA sequence was first characterized by PCR and RACE-PCR amplifications. RNAs isolated from infected leaves and infected berries were analysed by semi-quantitative and real-time RT-PCRs. In infected leaves, the expression of PAL, StSy, PGIP and VCH3 genes occurred 6 hours post inoculation (hpi). Increase of VCHIT1b gene expression was delayed (24 hpi). Maximum levels of induction of these genes were observed at 48 hpi, except for the VCH3 gene (24 hpi). Activation of these defense responses was not sufficient to stop B. cinerea spread. In berries, no VCH3 gene expression was detected. Maximum levels of induction were observed in stage 3 (loss of berry colour and abundant production of conidia) for the PAL and PGIP genes, and in stage 4 (shrivelled berry) for the StSy and VCHIT1b genes.