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Article|01 Sep 2021|OPEN
Transcripts switched off at the stop of phloem unloading highlight the energy efficiency of sugar import in the ripening V. vinifera fruit
Stefania Savoi1, Laurent Torregrosa1 & Charles Romieu1,
1AGAP, Montpellier University, CIRAD, INRAe, Institut Agro-Montpellier, UMT génovigne, 340602 place Viala, Montpellier CEDEX, France

Horticulture Research 8,
Article number: 193 (2021)
doi: 10.1038/hortres.2021.193
Views: 50

Received: 27 Nov 2020
Revised: 03 Jun 2021
Accepted: 05 Jun 2021
Published online: 01 Sep 2021


Transcriptomic changes at the cessation of sugar accumulation in the pericarp of Vitis vinifera were addressed on single berries re-synchronised according to their individual growth patterns. The net rates of water, sugars and K+ accumulation inferred from individual growth and solute concentration confirmed that these inflows stopped simultaneously in the ripe berry, while the small amount of malic acid remaining at this stage was still being oxidised at low rate. Re-synchronised individual berries displayed negligible variations in gene expression among triplicates. RNA-seq studies revealed sharp reprogramming of cell-wall enzymes and structural proteins at the stop of phloem unloading, associated with an 80% repression of multiple sugar transporters and aquaporins on the plasma or tonoplast membranes, with the noticeable exception of H+/sugar symporters, which were rather weakly and constitutively expressed. This was verified in three genotypes placed in contrasted thermo-hydric conditions. The prevalence of SWEET suggests that electrogenic transporters would play a minor role on the plasma membranes of SE/CC complex and the one of the flesh, while sucrose/H+ exchangers dominate on its tonoplast. Cis-regulatory elements present in their promoters allowed to sort these transporters in different groups, also including specific TIPs and PIPs paralogs, and cohorts of cell wall-related genes. Together with simple thermodynamic considerations, these results lead to propose that H+/sugar exchangers at the tonoplast, associated with a considerably acidic vacuolar pH, may exhaust cytosolic sugars in the flesh and alleviate the need for supplementary energisation of sugar transport at the plasma