, Volume 248, Issue 1, pp 89–103 | Cite as

Ectopic expression of VpSTS29, a stilbene synthase gene from Vitis pseudoreticulata, indicates STS presence in cytosolic oil bodies

  • Fuli Ma
  • Lei Wang
  • Yuejin Wang
Original Article


Main conclusion

Stilbene synthase (STS) and its metabolic products are accumulated in senescing grapevine leaves. Ectopic expression of VpSTS29 in Arabidopsis shows the presence of VpSTS29 in oil bodies and increases trans-piceid in developing leaves.

Stilbenes are the natural antimicrobial phytoalexins that are synthesised via the phenylpropanoid pathway. STS is the key enzyme catalysing the production of stilbenes. We have previously reported that the VpSTS29 gene plays an important role in powdery mildew resistance in Vitis pseudoreticulata. However, the synthesis and accumulation of these stilbene products in plant cells remain unclear. Here, we demonstrate that VpSTS29 is present in cytosolic oil bodies and can be transported into the vacuole at particular plant-developmental stages. Western blot and high-performance liquid chromatography showed that STS and trans-piceid accumulated in senescent grape leaves and in pVpSTS29::VpSTS29-expressing Arabidopsis during age-dependent leaf senescence. Subcellular localisation analyses indicated VpSTS29-GFP was present in the cytoplasm and in STS-containing bodies in Arabidopsis. Nile red staining, co-localisation and immunohistochemistry analyses of leaves confirmed that the STS-containing bodies were oil bodies and that these moved randomly in the cytoplasm and vacuole. Detection of protein profiles revealed that no free GFP was detected in the pVpSTS29::VpSTS29-GFP-expressing protoplasts or in Arabidopsis during the dark–light cycle, demonstrating that GFP fluorescence distributed in the STS-containing bodies and vacuole was the VpSTS29-GFP fusion protein. Intriguingly, in comparison to the controls, over-expression of VpSTS29 in Arabidopsis resulted in relatively high levels of trans-piceid, chlorophyll content and of photochemical efficiency accompanied by delayed leaf senescence. These results provide exciting new insights into the subcellular localisation of STS in plant cells and information about stilbene synthesis and storage.


Chinese wild grape Stilbene synthase gene Expression profile Subcellular localisation Oil body Leaf senescence 



Green fluorescent protein


High-performance liquid chromatography


Stilbene synthase


Caleosin 3



This work was supported by the Grants from the National Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 31672129). The authors specifically thank Dr Alexander (Sandy) Lang from RESCRIPT Co. (New Zealand) for useful comments and language editing which have greatly improved the manuscript.

Supplementary material

425_2018_2883_MOESM1_ESM.doc (1.4 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 1427 kb)
425_2018_2883_MOESM2_ESM.avi (20.1 mb)
Supplemental Movie S1 The STS-containing oil bodies moved randomly in the cytoplasm. Supplementary material 2 (AVI 20627 kb)


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

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of HorticultureNorthwest A & F UniversityYanglingPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of Horticultural Plant Biology and Germplasm Innovation in Northwest ChinaMinistry of AgricultureYanglingPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.State Key Laboratory of Crop Stress Biology in Arid AreasNorthwest A&F UniversityYanglingPeople’s Republic of China

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