Recovery from water stress affects grape leaf petiole transcriptome

Planta. 2012 Jun;235(6):1383-96. doi: 10.1007/s00425-011-1581-y. Epub 2012 Jan 13.


Fast and efficient recovery from water stress is a key determinant of plant adaptation to changing meteorological conditions modulating transpiration, i.e. air temperature and humidity. We analysed transcriptomic responses during rehydration after water stress in grapevine leaf petioles, where embolism formation and repair commonly take place, and where metabolic changes related to embolism recovery are expected to be particularly important. We compared gene expression of recovering plants with irrigated controls, upon high and low transpiration conditions, using cDNA microarrays. In parallel, we assessed the daily dynamics of water relations, embolism formation and repair, and leaf abscisic acid concentration. In recovering plants, the most affected gene categories were secondary metabolism, including genes linked to flavonoid biosynthesis; sugar metabolism and transport, and several aquaporin genes. The physiological dynamics of recovery were lower and the number of differentially expressed probes was much lower upon low transpiration than found in actively transpiring grapevines, suggesting the existence of a more intense metabolic reorganization upon high transpiration conditions and of a signal eliciting these responses. In plants recovering under high transpiration, abscisic acid concentrations significantly increased, and, in parallel, transcripts linked to abscisic acid metabolism and signalling (ABA-8'-hydroxylase, serine-threonine kinases, RD22 proteins) were upregulated; a trend that was not observed upon low transpiration. Our results show that recovery from water stress elicits complex transcriptomic responses in grapevine. The increase observed in abscisic acid cellular levels could represent a signal triggering the activation of responses to rehydration after stress.

MeSH terms

  • Abscisic Acid / metabolism
  • Dehydration / genetics
  • Down-Regulation / genetics
  • Droughts
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • Plant Leaves / anatomy & histology*
  • Plant Leaves / genetics*
  • Plant Leaves / physiology
  • Plant Stomata / genetics
  • Plant Stomata / physiology
  • Plant Transpiration / genetics
  • Plant Transpiration / physiology
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Stress, Physiological / genetics*
  • Time Factors
  • Transcriptome / genetics*
  • Up-Regulation / genetics
  • Vapor Pressure
  • Vitis / anatomy & histology
  • Vitis / genetics*
  • Vitis / physiology*
  • Water / physiology*


  • Water
  • Abscisic Acid