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Protocols in ecological and environmental plant physiology


Open Access Article << Previous     |     Next >>   Contents Vol 37(2)

Drought-induced changes in development and function of grapevine (Vitis spp.) organs and in their hydraulic and non-hydraulic interactions at the whole-plant level: a physiological and molecular update

Claudio Lovisolo A C, Irene Perrone A, Andrea Carra A, Alessandra Ferrandino A, Jaume Flexas B, Hipolito Medrano B, Andrea Schubert A

A DCA, Plant Physiology, University of Turin, via Leonardo da Vinci 44, 10095 Grugliasco, Italy.
B Grup de Recerca en Biologia de les Plantes en Condicions Mediterranies, Universitat de les Illes Balears, Carretera de Valldemossa Km 7.5, 07122 Palma de Mallorca, Spain.
C Corresponding author. Email: claudio.lovisolo@unito.it
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This review deals with grapevine responses to water stress by examining perturbations to physiological and molecular processes at the root, shoot, leaf and berry levels. Long-distance signalling among organs is also considered. Isohydric or anisohydric Vitis genotypes are described in relation to their response to drought, which is linked to stomatal behaviour. Stomatal regulation of grapevine under abscisic acid and hydraulic control (the latter being linked to embolism formation and recovery in water pathways upstream the stomata) is reviewed and linked to impairments of photosynthetic assimilation. We define three stages of photosynthesis regulation in grapevines that are subjected to progressive water stress on the basis of the main causes of assimilation decline. Early and late contributions of aquaporins, which play a fundamental role in water stress control, are discussed. Metabolic mechanisms of dehydration tolerance are rewieved, and variation linked to differences in transcript abundance of genes involved in osmoregulation, photosynthesis, photorespiration, detoxification of free radicals and coping with photoinhibition. Results of these defence strategies accumulated in berries are reviewed, together with perturbations of their molecular pathways. Features observed in different organs show that grapevine fits well as a complex model plant for molecular and physiological studies on plant drought avoidance/tolerance.

Keywords: abscisic acid, anisohydric, anthocyanins, aquaporin, genome, isohydric, polyphenols, proteomics, stomatal conductance, transcriptomics, water use efficiency.

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