Journal Article

Characterization of <i>Vitis vinifera</i> L. somatic variants exhibiting abnormal flower development patterns

Philippe Chatelet, Valérie Laucou, Lucie Fernandez, Lekha Sreekantan, Thierry Lacombe, José Miguel Martinez-Zapater, Mark R. Thomas and Laurent Torregrosa

in Journal of Experimental Botany

Published on behalf of Society for Experimental Biology

Volume 58, issue 15-16, pages 4107-4118
Published in print December 2007 | ISSN: 0022-0957
Published online November 2007 | e-ISSN: 1460-2431 | DOI:

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Mutants have proven to be a key resource for functional genomic studies in model annual plant species. In perennial plant species where mutants are difficult to generate and to screen, spontaneous somatic variants represent a unique resource to understand the genetic control of complex developmental patterns. The morphological and histological characterization of six Vitis vinifera L. somatic variants that display four different abnormal phenotypes of flower development are described here. A phenotype of reiterated reproductive meristems (RRM), with both flower and petal reiteration, was observed in a somatic variant of the cultivar Carignan. An abnormal development of reproductive organs was displayed by the unfused carpels (UFC) somatic variant of cv. Bouchalès, while a somatic variant of cv. Mourvèdre named carpel-less (CLS) developed abnormal ovules in the absence of carpels. Finally, three independent somatic variants in cvs Gamay, Morrastel, and Pinot displayed a phenotype of multiple perianth whorls (MPW). Gene expression studies showed that the expression profiles of VvMADS-box 1, 2, and 3 (putative orthologues of Arabidopsis flowering genes AG, SEP, and AGL13), were altered during grapevine flower development in the somatic variants, whereas the corresponding original cultivars displayed similar VvMADS-box gene expression profiles. Phenotypic and molecular characterization of these variants allowed the development of hypotheses on genetic functions that might be altered in most of the variants in light of the current ABCDE flower model.

Keywords: Flower development; grapevine; MADS-box; reproductive organs; somatic variants

Journal Article.  5660 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Plant Sciences and Forestry

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