A DIGE-based quantitative proteomic analysis of grape berry flesh development and ripening reveals key events in sugar and organic acid metabolism.

Research paper by Maria José MJ Martínez-Esteso, Susana S Sellés-Marchart, Diego D Lijavetzky, Maria Angeles MA Pedreño, Roque R Bru-Martínez

Indexed on: 18 May '11Published on: 18 May '11Published in: Journal of experimental botany


Grapevine (Vitis vinifera L.) is an economically important fruit crop. Quality-determining grape components, such as sugars, acids, flavours, anthocyanins, tannins, etc., are accumulated during the different grape berry development stages. Thus, correlating the proteomic profiles with the biochemical and physiological changes occurring in grape is of paramount importance to advance the understanding of the berry development and ripening processes. Here, the developmental analysis of V. vinifera cv. Muscat Hamburg berries is reported at protein level, from fruit set to full ripening. A top-down proteomic approach based on differential in-gel electrophoresis (DIGE) followed by tandem mass spectrometry led to identification and quantification of 156 and 61 differentially expressed proteins in green and ripening phases, respectively. Two key points in development, with respect to changes in protein level, were detected: end of green development and beginning of ripening. The profiles of carbohydrate metabolism enzymes were consistent with a net conversion of sucrose to malate during green development. Pyrophosphate-dependent phosphofructokinase is likely to play a key role to allow an unrestricted carbon flow. The well-known change of imported sucrose fate at the beginning of ripening from accumulation of organic acid (malate) to hexoses (glucose and fructose) was well correlated with a switch in abundance between sucrose synthase and soluble acid invertase. The role of the identified proteins is discussed in relation to their biological function, grape berry development, and to quality traits. Another DIGE experiment comparing fully ripe berries from two vintages showed very few spots changing, thus indicating that protein changes detected throughout development are specific.