, Volume 255, Issue 6, pp 1725–1740 | Cite as

Effects of heat stress in the leaf mitotic cell cycle and chromosomes of four wine-producing grapevine varieties

  • Ana Carvalho
  • Fernanda Leal
  • Manuela Matos
  • José Lima-Brito
Original Article


Grapevine varieties respond differentially to heat stress (HS). HS ultimately reduces the photosynthesis and respiratory performance. However, the HS effects in the leaf nuclei and mitotic cells of grapevine are barely known. This work intends to evaluate the HS effects in the leaf mitotic cell cycle and chromosomes of four wine-producing varieties: Touriga Franca (TF), Touriga Nacional (TN), Rabigato, and Viosinho. In vitro plants with 11 months were used in a stepwise acclimation and recovery (SAR) experimental setup comprising different phases: heat acclimation period (3 h—32 °C), extreme HS (1 h—42 °C), and two recovery periods (3 h—32 °C and 24 h—25 °C), and compared to control plants (maintained in vitro at 25 °C). At the end of each SAR phase, leaves were collected, fixed, and used for cell suspensions and chromosome preparations. Normal and abnormal interphase and mitotic cells were observed, scored, and statistically analyzed in all varieties and treatments (control and SAR phases). Different types of chromosomal anomalies in all mitotic phases, treatments, and varieties were found. In all varieties, the percentage of dividing cells with anomalies (%DCA) after extreme HS increased relative to control. TF and Viosinho were considered the most tolerant to HS. TF showed a gradual MI reduction from heat acclimation to HS and the lowest %DCA after HS and 24 h of recovery. Only Viosinho reached the control values after the long recovery period. Extrapolating these data to the field, we hypothesize that during consecutive hot summer days, the grapevine plants will not have time or capacity to recover from the mitotic anomalies caused by high temperatures.


Chromosomal anomalies Interphase Mitosis Nucleoli Silver nitrate staining Vitis vinifera L. 



The author AC acknowledges her postdoctoral fellowship (BPD/UTAD/INNOVINE&WINE/593/2016) attributed under the scope of the project INNOVINE&WINE (NORTE-01-0145-FEDER-000038, research line “Viticulture”). The authors AC and JLB thank the projects UID/AGR/04033/2013 (financed by the FCT - Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology) and POCI-01-0145-FEDER-006958 (supported by FEDER/COMPETE/POCI – Operacional Competitiveness and Internacionalization Programme).


This study was supported by the project INNOVINE&WINE—“Innovation of the Vine and Wine Platform” (research line Viticulture) (NORTE-01-0145-FEDER-000038); by the postdoctoral grant BPD/UTAD/INNOVINE&WINE/593/2016); by the project INTERACT—Integrative Research in Environment, Agro-Chains and Technology (NORTE-01-0145-FEDER-000017—Fostering viticulture sustainability for Douro Valley: multidisciplinary efforts from field to wine (research line VitalityWine); and by the COST Action CA16212 INDEPTH—Impact of nuclear domains on gene expression and plant traits, European Cooperation in Science & Technology.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Austria, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Biosystems & Integrative Sciences InstituteUniversity of Tras-os-Montes and Alto Douro (BioISI-UTAD)Vila RealPortugal
  2. 2.Centre for the Research and Technology of Agro-Environmental and Biological Sciences (CITAB)University of Tras-os-Montes and Alto DouroVila RealPortugal
  3. 3.Department of Genetics and BiotechnologyUniversity of Tras-os-Montes and Alto DouroVila RealPortugal

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