Characterization of the grapevine VIP1 protein and it's role in abiotic stress response of the plant

One of the main research areas of the Department of Viticulture is testing the resistance of grapes against biotic and abiotic stresses, particularly drought and winter frost.

During our previous studies on biotic resistance, the VIP1 (VirE2 interacting protein 1) protein came into our focus. It has been shown, that in addition to its central role in Agrobacterium transformation, this protein is also an important component of biotic and also abiotic stress responses in plants. One of the primary plant defense reaction against biotic and abiotic stresses is a large-scale reprogramming of gene expression profiles. VIP1 protein represents supposedly the direct link between the primary signal pathways and transcriptomic responses: under biotic or abiotic stress events the MAPK pathway is activated, MPK3 is rapidly phosphorilated followed by phosphorilation and nuclear translocation of VIP1. In the nucleus as a transcriptional factor VIP1 induces the expression of stress responsive genes containing VREs in their promoter regions.

Based on a preliminary analysis, it is assumed that VIP1 genes are possibly under the control of the nonsense mediated mRNA decay (NMD) surveillance pathway. NMD system is proposed to play role in both biotic and abiotic stress responses. We plan to examine the interactions between the NMD system and VIP1 proteins concerning abiotic stress resistance.