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Article|10 Nov 2022|OPEN
Natural variations of HSFA2 enhance thermotolerance in grapevine
Xinna Liu1,2,3 , Haiyang Chen1,2,3 , Shenchang Li1,2,3 , David Lecourieux4 , Wei Duan1,2 , Peige Fan1,2 , Zhenchang Liang1,2 , Lijun Wang,1,2 ,
1Beijing Key Laboratory of Grape Science and Enology and Key Laboratory of Plant Resources, Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100093, China
2China National Botanical Garden, Beijing 100093, China
3University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
4EGFV, Bordeaux Sciences Agro, INRAE, ISVV, Bordeaux University, Villenave d’Ornon F-33882, France
*Corresponding author. E-mail:

Horticulture Research 10,
Article number: uhac250 (2023)
Views: 258

Received: 28 Jul 2022
Accepted: 31 Oct 2022
Published online: 10 Nov 2022


Heat stress limits growth and development of crops including grapevine which is a popular fruit in the world. Genetic variability in crops thermotolerance is not well understood. We identified and characterized heat stress transcription factor HSFA2 in heat sensitive Vitis vinifera ‘Jingxiu’ (named as VvHSFA2) and heat tolerant Vitis davidii ‘Tangwei’ (named as VdHSFA2). The transcriptional activation activities of VdHSFA2 are higher than VvHSFA2, the variation of single amino acid (Thr315Ile) in AHA1 motif leads to the difference of transcription activities between VdHSFA2 and VvHSFA2. Based on 41 Vitis germplasms, we found that HSFA2 is differentiated at coding region among heat sensitive V. vinifera, and heat tolerant Vitis davidii and Vitis quinquangularis. Genetic evidence demonstrates VdHSFA2 and VvHSFA2 are positive regulators in grape thermotolerance, and the former can confer higher thermotolerance than the latter. Moreover, VdHSFA2 can regulate more target genes than VvHSFA2. As a target gene of both VdHSFA2 and VvHSFA2, overexpression of MBF1c enhanced the grape thermotolerance whereas dysfunction of MBF1c resulted in thermosensitive phenotype. Together, our results revealed that VdHSFA2 confers higher thermotolerance than VvHSFA2, and MBF1c acts as their target gene to induce thermotolerance. The VdHSFA2 may be adopted for molecular breeding in grape thermotolerance.