Domingos, S., Fino, J., Paulo, O.S., Oliveira, C.M., Goulão, L.F. (2016) Molecular candidates for early-stage flower-to-fruit transition in stenospermocarpic table grape (Vitis vinifera L.) inflorescences ascribed by differential transcriptome and metabolome profiles.Plant Science, 244, 40–56. DOI:10.1016/j.plantsci.2015.12.009 (IF2015 3,362; Q1 Plant Sciences)
Flower-to-fruit transition depends of nutrient availability and regulation at the molecular level by sugar and hormone signalling crosstalk. However, in most species, the identities of fruit initiation regulators and their targets are largely unknown. To ascertain the main pathways involved in stenospermocarpic table grape fruit set, comprehensive transcriptional and metabolomic analyses were conducted specifically targeting the early phase of this developmental stage in ‘Thompson Seedless’. The high-throughput analyses performed disclosed the involvement of 496 differentially expressed genes and 28 differently accumulated metabolites in the sampled inflorescences. Our data show broad transcriptome reprogramming of molecule transporters, globally down-regulating gene expression, and suggest that regulation of sugar- and hormone-mediated pathways determines the downstream activation of berry development. The most affected gene was the SWEET14 sugar transporter. Hormone-related transcription changes were observed associated with increased indole-3-acetic acid, stimulation of ethylene and gibberellin metabolisms and cytokinin degradation, and regulation of MADS-box and AP2-like ethylene-responsive transcription factor expression. Secondary metabolism, the most representative biological process at transcriptome level, was predominantly repressed. The results add to the knowledge of molecular events occurring in grapevine inflorescence fruit set and provide a list of candidates, paving the way for genetic manipulation aimed at model research and plant breeding.