Grapevine field experiments reveal the contribution of genotype, the influence of environment and the effect of their interaction (G×E) on the berry transcriptome

Plant J. 2018 Mar;93(6):1143-1159. doi: 10.1111/tpj.13834. Epub 2018 Mar 5.


Changes in the performance of genotypes in different environments are defined as genotype × environment (G×E) interactions. In grapevine (Vitis vinifera), complex interactions between different genotypes and climate, soil and farming practices yield unique berry qualities. However, the molecular basis of this phenomenon remains unclear. To dissect the basis of grapevine G×E interactions we characterized berry transcriptome plasticity, the genome methylation landscape and within-genotype allelic diversity in two genotypes cultivated in three different environments over two vintages. We identified, through a novel data-mining pipeline, genes with expression profiles that were: unaffected by genotype or environment, genotype-dependent but unaffected by the environment, environmentally-dependent regardless of genotype, and G×E-related. The G×E-related genes showed different degrees of within-cultivar allelic diversity in the two genotypes and were enriched for stress responses, signal transduction and secondary metabolism categories. Our study unraveled the mutual relationships between genotypic and environmental variables during G×E interaction in a woody perennial species, providing a reference model to explore how cultivated fruit crops respond to diverse environments. Also, the pivotal role of vineyard location in determining the performance of different varieties, by enhancing berry quality traits, was unraveled.

Keywords: Vitis vinifera (grapevine); data mining; gene expression variation; genotype × environment interaction (G×E); secondary metabolism.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Environment
  • Fruit / genetics*
  • Gene Expression Profiling*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant*
  • Gene Ontology
  • Genes, Plant / genetics
  • Genotype
  • Phenotype
  • Vitis / genetics*
  • Vitis / metabolism