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Article|01 Feb 2021|OPEN
Functional conservation of the grapevine candidate gene INNER NO OUTER for ovule development and seed formation
Valentina di Rienzo1,2, Zahra Imanifard3, Isabella Mascio1, Charles S. Gasser4, Debra J. Skinner4, Ciro Leonardo Pierri5,6, Martina Marini3, Valentina Fanelli1, Wilma Sabetta7, Cinzia Montemurro2,8,1, & Diana Bellin3,
1Department of Soil, Plant and Food Sciences, Section of Genetics and Breeding, University of Bari Aldo Moro, via Amendola 165/A, 70125 Bari, Italy
2Spin off Sinagri s.r.l., University of Bari Aldo Moro, via Amendola 165/A, 70125 Bari, Italy
3Department of Biotechnology, University of Verona, Strada Le Grazie 15, 37134 Verona, Italy
4Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, University of California, Davis, 1 Shields Ave., Davis, CA 95616, USA
5Department of Biosciences, Biotechnologies and Biopharmaceutics, Laboratory of Biochemistry Molecular and Structural Biology, University of Bari Aldo Moro, Via E. Orabona 4, 70126 Bari, Italy
6Spin off BROWSer S.r.l. (https:// c/o Department of Biosciences, Biotechnologies, Biopharmaceutics, University of Bari Aldo Moro, Via E. Orabona 4, 70126 Bari, Italy
7Institute of Biosciences and Bioresources of the National Research Council (IBBR-CNR), Via Amendola 165/A, 70125 Bari, Italy
8Institute for Sustainable Plant Protection–Support Unit Bari, National Research Council of Italy (CNR), Via Amendola 165/A, 70125 Bari, Italy

Horticulture Research 8,
Article number: 29 (2021)
doi: 10.1038/hortres.2021.29
Views: 224

Received: 27 Sep 2020
Revised: 19 Dec 2020
Accepted: 22 Dec 2020
Published online: 01 Feb 2021


Seedlessness represents a highly appreciated trait in table grapes. Based on an interesting case of seedless fruit production described in the crop species Annona squamosa, we focused on the Vitis vinifera INNER NO OUTER (INO) gene as a candidate. This gene encodes a transcription factor belonging to the YABBY family involved in the determination of abaxial identity in several organs. In Arabidopsis thaliana, this gene was shown to be essential for the formation and asymmetric growth of the ovule outer integument and its mutation leads to a phenotypic defect of ovules and failure in seed formation. In this study, we identified in silico the V. vinifera orthologue and investigated its phylogenetic relationship to INO genes from other species and its expression in different organs in seeded and seedless varieties. Applying cross-species complementation, we have tested its functionality in the Arabidopsis ino-1 mutant. We show that the V. vinifera INO successfully rescues the ovule outer integument growth and seeds set and also partially complements the outer integument asymmetric growth in the Arabidopsis mutant, differently from orthologues from other species. These data demonstrate that VviINO retains similar activity and protein targets in grapevine as in Arabidopsis. Potential implications for grapevine breeding are discussed.