GENETIC AND MOLECULAR ANALYSIS OF CROP NATURAL VARIATION IN FRUIT QUALITY TRAITS

Group leader: Rosa Adela Arroyo García - Researcher INIA

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The natural diversity of the plants is the main source of the genetic variation in the cultivated species and the first objective in the conservation of the wild species. Currently, we do not know the genetic and molecular bases of this natural variation and only recently we have started to study it at molecular level.

The fundamental goal of our group is to identify the genes and the nucleotide variation that it is responsible for the phenotypic variation for characters of berry quality. We have exploited the possibilities that offer the combination of the genomic information with the different tools of genetic analysis. Elucidation of the molecular basis of these traits can allow to increase the effectiveness of the breeding programs. The starting point of the experimental strategy is the analysis of the natural phenotypic variation in wild grape genetic resources (which present different enological profiles than the cultivated ones) and breeding populations. The phenotypic analysis will be analyzed by traditional chemical analysis, and this information is contrasted with the existing variation, using both segregating populations analysis for quantitative traits and genetic association analysis. This strategy should allow us to identify the genomic regions responsible for the variation of the quality traits. Finally, other efficient tool in the identification of characters of quality is the characterization of the metaboloma of mature berries of wild accessions and clones of wine grape varieties, with the purpose of determinate biomarkers of quality for the clones and search of new metabolites in the wild accessions. In this context, the final objective is the development of molecular tools that allow to accelerate the selection in breeding programs of wine grape varieties with high quality.

The main research lines of our group are the following:
  1. Genetic relationships among wild grapevine (V. vinifera ssp sylvestris) and cultivated grapevine(V.v. ssp. sativa) genotypes. Study of the domestication process.
  2. Natural variation of domesticated genes in grapevine.
  3. Genetic and Molecular analysis of berry quality traits.
  4. Development of genomic tools useful for breeding programs.
Relevant results

We have characterized the genetic structure of wild and cultivated grapevine populations in the Mediterranean basin. The results showed a higher genetic diversity in wild populations than in cultivated grapevine. Also, we have found new alleles that were absent in the cultivated grapevine. Currently, we are carrying out the phenotypic characterization of wild grapevine accessions. The color is a quality trait determined by the quantity and anthocyanin profile of the berry. The biochemical analysis of these traits in wild grape accessions showed different profiles than cultivated grapevine. In grapevine the transcriptional factors VvmybA1 and VvmybA2 are associated with this trait. We have analyzed the allelic variants present in wild grape accessions from the both end of Mediterranean basin (Iberian Peninsula and Anatolian Peninsula). Results provide evidence that variation in both transcriptional regulators has generated a new allelic series that it has been not found in cultivated grapevine. Furthermore, the allelic series showed correlation with anthocyanins content. These findings provide information about the evolution of grapes since domestication took place and have direct implications in wine quality of this important crop.

Research Projects
  • RTA2014-000-00016-C02-01 (2015-218). Utilización de la diversidad genética de la vid ( Vitis vinífera L) y de las poblaciones microbianas de la uva para afrontar la adaptación al cambio climático.
  • RTA2008-00032-C02-01. (2008-2011) Evaluación de Caracteres de calidad en poblaciones naturales de vid (Vitis vinifera ssp silvestris) mediante estrategias genómicas.
  • RTA2011-00029-C02-01. (2011-2014). Desarrollo de herramientas genómicas y metabolómicas para una selección eficaz de variedades de uva de vinificación de alta calidad fenólica.
  • COST Action FA1003 “East-West collaboration for Grapevine diversity exploration and mobilization of Adaptative traits for breeding” (2011-2014).
 

Representative Publications

Lara, M; Iriarte-Chiapusso, MJ; Cantos, M; García Jiménez, JL; Morales, R; Ocete, CA; López, MA; Salinas, JA; Rubio, I; Hidalgo, J; Íñiguez, M; Rodríguez, A; Valle, JM; Arroyo-García, R; Ayala, MC; Armendáriz, I; Maghradze, D; Arnold, C; Ocete, R. 2017. "La vid silvestre. Un importante recurso fitogenético sin protección legal en España. The wild vine. An important phytogenetic resource without legal protection in Spain.". Revista Iberoamericana de Viticultura, Agroindustria y Ruralidad.

Ferreira, V; Fernandes, F; Carrasco, D; Hernandez, MG; Pinto-Carnide, O; Arroyo-García, R; Andrade, P; Valentão, P; Falco, V; Castro, I. 2017. "Spontaneous variation regarding grape berry skin color: A comprehensive study of berry development by means of biochemical and molecular markers". Food Research International. DOI: 10.1016/j.foodres.2017.03.050".

Cantos, M; Arroyo-García, R; García, JL; Lara, M; Morales, R; López, MÁ; Gallardo, A; Ocete, CA; Rodríguez, Á; Valle, JM; Vaca, R; González-Maestro, M; Bánáti, H; Ocete, R. 2017. "Current distribution and characterization of the wild grapevine populations in Andalusia (Spain)". Comptes Rendus Biologies. DOI: 10.1016/j.crvi.2017.01.004".

Arroyo-García, R; Cantos, M; Lara, M; López, M-Á; Gallardo, A; Ocete, CA; Pérez, Á; Bánáti, H; García, JL; Ocete, R. 2016. "Characterization of the largest relic Eurasian wild grapevine reservoir in Southern Iberian Peninsula". Spanish Journal of Agricultural Research. DOI: 10.5424/sjar/2016143-8929".

Carrasco, D; De Lorenzis, G; Maghradze, D; Revilla, E; Bellido, A; Failla, O; Arroyo-García, R. 2015. "Allelic variation in the VvMYBA1 and VvMYBA2 domestication genes in natural grapevine populations (Vitis vinifera ssp sylvestris)". Plant Syst and Evol. DOI: 10.1007/s00606-014-1181-y".

Ferreira, V; Fernandes, F; Pinto-Carnide, O; Valentão, P; Falco, V; Martín, JP; Ortiz, JM; Arroyo-García, R; Andrade, PB; Castro, I. 2016. "Identification of Vitis vinifera L. grape berry skin color mutants and polyphenolic profile". Food Chemistry. DOI: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2015.07.142".

de Andrés, M.T.; Benito, A.; Perez-Rivera, G.; Ocete, R.; Lopez, M.A.; Gaforio, L.; Muñoz, G.; Cabello, F.; Martínez-Zapater, J.M.; Arroyo-Garcia, R. 2012. "Genetic diversity of wild grapevine populations in Spain and their genetic relationship with cultivated grapevines". Molecular Ecology. 21(4):800-816.

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