Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Day and night heat stress trigger different transcriptomic responses in green and ripening grapevine (vitis vinifera) fruit

Markus Rienth12, Laurent Torregrosa2, Nathalie Luchaire23, Ratthaphon Chatbanyong2, David Lecourieux4, Mary T Kelly5 and Charles Romieu6*

Author Affiliations

1 Fondation Jean Poupelain, 30 Rue Gâte Chien, Javrezac 16100, France

2 Montpellier SupAgro-INRA, UMR AGAP-DAAV & UMT Genovigne, 2 place Pierre Viala, Montpellier 34060, France

3 INRA, UMR LEPSE, 2 place Pierre Viala, Montpellier 34060, France

4 INRA, ISVV, UMR EGFV 1287, 210 chemin de Levsotee, Villenave d’Ornon F-33140, France

5 Laboratoire d’Oenologie, UMR1083, Faculté de Pharmacie, Université Montpellier 1, Montpellier 34093, France

6 INRA, UMR AGAP-DAAV, 2 place Pierre Viala, Montpellier, Cedex 02 34060, France

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BMC Plant Biology 2014, 14:108  doi:10.1186/1471-2229-14-108

Published: 28 April 2014



Global climate change will noticeably affect plant vegetative and reproductive development. The recent increase in temperatures has already impacted yields and composition of berries in many grapevine-growing regions. Physiological processes underlying temperature response and tolerance of the grapevine fruit have not been extensively investigated. To date, all studies investigating the molecular regulation of fleshly fruit response to abiotic stress were only conducted during the day, overlooking possible critical night-specific variations. The present study explores the night and day transcriptomic response of grapevine fruit to heat stress at several developmental stages. Short heat stresses (2 h) were applied at day and night to vines bearing clusters sequentially ordered according to the developmental stages along their vertical axes. The recently proposed microvine model (DRCF-Dwarf Rapid Cycling and Continuous Flowering) was grown in climatic chambers in order to circumvent common constraints and biases inevitable in field experiments with perennial macrovines. Post-véraison berry heterogeneity within clusters was avoided by constituting homogenous batches following organic acids and sugars measurements of individual berries. A whole genome transcriptomic approach was subsequently conducted using NimbleGen 090818 Vitis 12X (30 K) microarrays.


Present work reveals significant differences in heat stress responsive pathways according to day or night treatment, in particular regarding genes associated with acidity and phenylpropanoid metabolism. Precise distinction of ripening stages led to stage-specific detection of malic acid and anthocyanin-related transcripts modulated by heat stress. Important changes in cell wall modification related processes as well as indications for heat-induced delay of ripening and sugar accumulation were observed at véraison, an effect that was reversed at later stages.


This first day - night study on heat stress adaption of the grapevine berry shows that the transcriptome of fleshy fruits is differentially affected by abiotic stress at night. The present results emphasize the necessity of including different developmental stages and especially several daytime points in transcriptomic studies.