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Tracking cell wall changes in wine and table grapes undergoing Botrytis cinerea infection using glycan microarrays

Lookup NU author(s): Professor William WillatsORCiD


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© 2021 The Author(s). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Annals of Botany Company. All rights reserved.Background and Aims: The necrotrophic fungus Botrytis cinerea infects a broad range of fruit crops including domesticated grapevine Vitis vinifera cultivars. Damage caused by this pathogen is severely detrimental to the table and wine grape industries and results in substantial crop losses worldwide. The apoplast and cell wall interface is an important setting where many plant-pathogen interactions take place and where some defence-related messenger molecules are generated. Limited studies have investigated changes in grape cell wall composition upon infection with B. cinerea, with much being inferred from studies on other fruit crops. Methods: In this study, comprehensive microarray polymer profiling in combination with monosaccharide compositional analysis was applied for the first time to investigate cell wall compositional changes in the berries of wine (Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon) and table (Dauphine and Barlinka) grape cultivars during Botrytis infection and tissue maceration. This was used in conjunction with scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and X-ray computed tomography (CT) to characterize infection progression. Key Results: Grapes infected at veraison did not develop visible infection symptoms, whereas grapes inoculated at the post-veraison and ripe stages showed evidence of significant tissue degradation. The latter was characterized by a reduction in signals for pectin epitopes in the berry cell walls, implying the degradation of pectin polymers. The table grape cultivars showed more severe infection symptoms, and corresponding pectin depolymerization, compared with wine grape cultivars. In both grape types, hemicellulose layers were largely unaffected, as was the arabinogalactan protein content, whereas in moderate to severely infected table grape cultivars, evidence of extensin epitope deposition was present. Conclusions: Specific changes in the grape cell wall compositional profiles appear to correlate with fungal disease susceptibility. Cell wall factors important in influencing resistance may include pectin methylesterification profiles, as well as extensin reorganization.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Weiller F, Schuckel J, Willats WGT, Driouich A, Vivier MA, Moore JP

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Annals of Botany

Year: 2021

Volume: 128

Issue: 5

Pages: 527-543

Print publication date: 08/10/2021

Online publication date: 30/06/2021

Acceptance date: 29/06/2021

ISSN (print): 0305-7364

ISSN (electronic): 1095-8290

Publisher: Oxford University Press


DOI: 10.1093/aob/mcab086


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