Chong Ren: Plant Physiology First Author

Chong Ren, first author of “Advances in understanding cold tolerance in grapevine”

Education: M.S. from Institute of Subtropical Agriculture, Chinese Academy of Sciences, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences. D.S. from Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Current Position: Assistant researcher at Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China.

Non-scientific interests: Reading, basketball, cooking, and music.

Brief bio: I luckily joined the team of Prof. Zhenchang Liang at Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing when I received my PhD in 2019. My projects focus on the mechanisms of cold response in grapevine, and I also try to use genome editing technologies (GET) to improve the traits of grapevine. The currently cultivated cultivars of Vitis vinifera worldwide exhibit poor tolerance to cold stress and should be covered with soil to overwinter safely in northern China. This cultivation pattern increases the production cost and causes damages to the environment. Research on grapevine cold tolerance and development of cultivars with excellent cold hardiness have therefore been an important research project in our lab. Though studies on cold responses in grapevine have been reported in recent years, our knowledge of the mechanisms is still fragmented, and a comprehensive and systematic overview of these advances is still lacking. We summarized recent advances in cold response in grapevine and discussed possible mechanisms involved in cold tolerance at the physiological and molecular levels, pointing out the significant role of wild Vitis species such as V. amurensis in the field of cold tolerance research. In addition, we provided some approaches to improve cold tolerance in grapevine, including interspecific hybridization and genomics- and GET-assisted breeding. In short, a better understanding of cold signaling in grapevine would facilitate the breeding of grapevines with improved cold tolerance and high fruit quality in the future.