Molecular events marking the onset of berry ripening in grapevine (Plant Physiol)

Do you know the difference between a wine made from Pinot noir grapes and one made from Cabernet Sauvignon grapes? Most people can taste a difference, but to really understand the wines you might want to go a bit deeper through metabolomic and transcriptomic approaches, as done by Fasoli et al. (in a project funded by a large California winery). The authors profiled the grapes from early development through veraison (onset of ripening) and the mature stages. Metabolomics showed that pre-ripening, the profiles of the two grapes clustered together, but that at later time points the grapes showed varietally-distinct metabolite profiles (which shouldn’t surpise wine afficianados). A similar pattern was seen with the transcriptional profiling, with similar genes in both varieties associated with the pre-ripening developmental stage, and varietal differences in later stages, including in genes involved in anthocyanin, phenolics and resveratrol production. The authors developmentally mapped genes and identified marker genes associated with various developmental and ripening phases. (Summary by Mary Williams) Plant Physiol. 10.1104/pp.18.00559