Seminar: Leveraging Plant and Microbial Genomics to Study Grapevine Diseases

Dario Cantu, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Louis P. Martini Endowed Chair in Viticulture, Department of Viticulture and Enology, University of California Davis


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When (Date/Time)

February 25, 2019, 3:35 PM - 4:30 PM

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We have been developing genome references for cultivated and wild Vitis spp. as well as some of the most common and economically important grape fungal pathogens. The availability of complete genomes has provided a first comprehensive view on the virulence potential of grape pathogens and allowed to conduct community-level transcriptomics that monitors simultaneously the activities of multiple interacting organisms in planta. Interspecific comparative analysis of gene family evolution pointed to specific patterns of gene family expansion with lineage-specific evolution of distinct mechanisms of virulence. Intraspecific comparative genome and transcriptome analyses has revealed the impact of large structural variants on gene content, in some cases associated with virulence or fungicide resistance. To study the impact of microbial activity on grape metabolism we have been integrating transcriptomics, metabolomics, and enzyme activity assays. Integrative systems-level analysis of grape berries during the interaction with biotrophic and necrotrophic pathogens is shading light on how microbial activities can reprogram grape development and metabolism.