Grapevine (Vitits vinifera) transcriptomic response to black rot (Guignardia bidwellii) infection

Black rot caused by Guignardia bidwellii is an important fungal disease of grapevine. Due to the lack of information about the disease, the facilities for prevention and defense are limited. We also know little about plant resistance sources. The pest is a fungus with pseudothecia, which also has a picnidial form. Hosts of the fungus are different Vitis- and Parthenocissus- species. The pest shows symptoms at green and developing parts of the vine (leaf, stem). Primary sources of infection are the pseudothecia and picnidia overwintering on plant residues, the shriveled berries. In the spreading of the disease water-borne picnoconidia play the central role.

Our primary goal is to understand the biological background of the relationship between the vine and the black rot pathogen. For this, beside integrating the results of the genetic mapping works, we are planning to examine the vine’s response to black rot at the transcriptome level.  By identifying the genes that are either over- or underexpressed when infected with Guignardia bidwellii, we would like to help marker-developement and marker assisted selection in grape breeding. To observe the RNA-level response we artificially infect resistant and susceptible genotypes with black rot, and than take samples at different times to examine them with high-throughput RNA- sequencing. The result of the proposed work is to identify resistance gene candidates, which enables the development markers that can be used directly in breeding, thus creating varieties with higher yield, better nutritional value and pest resistance.