Open Access Open Badges Research article

Thiamine modulates metabolism of the phenylpropanoid pathway leading to enhanced resistance to Plasmopara viticola in grapevine

Hatem Boubakri12*, Anne Poutaraud2, Mohamed Ali Wahab3, Celine Clayeux45, Raymonde Baltenweck-Guyot2, Damien Steyer24, Christophe Marcic5, Ahmed Mliki1 and Isabelle Soustre-Gacougnolle6

Author Affiliations

1 Laboratoire de Physiologie Moléculaire des Plantes, Centre de Biotechnologie de Borj-Cédria, 2050, Hammam Lif, Tunisie

2 Unité Mixte de Recherche 1131, Université de Strasbourg /INRA-Colmar, 28 Rue de Herrlisheim, F68021, Colmar, France

3 Technopole de Borj-Cédria-CWR, 2050, Hammam Lif, Tunisie

4 Twistaroma, 28 Rue de Herrlisheim, 68021, Colmar, France

5 Equipe de Chimie Analytique des Molécules BioActives, UMR 7178, IPHC, Faculté de Pharmacie, Université de Strasbourg, 74 route du Rhin, 67400, Illkirch, France

6 Laboratoire Vigne, Biotechnologies et Environnement (LVBE, EA3991), Université de Haute Alsace, 33 rue de Herrlisheim, 68000, Colmar, France

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BMC Plant Biology 2013, 13:31  doi:10.1186/1471-2229-13-31

Published: 26 February 2013



Previously, we have reported the ability of thiamine (vitamin B1) to induce resistance against Plasmopara viticola in a susceptible grapevine cv. Chardonnay. However, mechanisms underlying vitamins, especially, thiamine-induced disease resistance in grapevine are still largely unknown. Here, we assessed whether thiamine could modulate phenylpropanoid pathway-derived phytoalexins in grapevine plants, as well as, the role of such secondary metabolites in thiamine-induced resistance process to P. viticola.


Our data show that thiamine treatment elicited the expression of phenylpropanoid pathway genes in grapevine plants. The expression of these genes correlated with an accumulation of stilbenes, phenolic compounds, flavonoids and lignin. Furthermore, the total anti-oxidant potential of thiamine-treaded plants was increased by 3.5-fold higher level as compared with untreated-control plants. Four phenolic compounds are responsible of 97% of the total anti-oxidant potential of thiamine-treated plants. Among these compounds, is the caftaric acid, belonging to the hydroxy-cinnamic acids family. This element contributed, by its own, by 20% of this total anti-oxidant potential. Epifluorescence microscopy analysis revealed a concomitant presence of unbranched-altered P. viticola mycelia and stilbenes production in the leaf mesophyll of thiamine-treated inoculated plants, suggesting that stilbenes are an important component of thiamine-induced resistance in grapevine.


This work is the first to show the role of thiamine, as a vitamin, in the modulation of grapevine plant secondary metabolism contributing to an enhanced resistance to P. viticola, the most destructive fungal disease in vineyards.

Thiamine; Plasmopara viticola; Stilbenes; Phenylpropanoid pathway genes; Lignin; Flavonoids; Grapevine; Induced resistance; Real-Time q-PCR; HPLC; UPLC-MS