Identification of potential post-ethylene events in the signaling cascade induced by stimuli of bud dormancy release in grapevine

Zhaowan Shi, Tamar Halaly-Basha, Chuanlin Zheng, Michal Sharabi-Schwager, Chen Wang, David W. Galbraith, Ron Ophir, Xuequn Pang, Etti Or

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Ethylene signaling appears critical for grape bud dormancy release. We therefore focused on identification and characterization of potential downstream targets and events, assuming that they participate in the regulation of dormancy release. Because ethylene responding factors (ERF) are natural candidates for targets of ethylene signaling, we initially characterized the behavior of two VvERF-VIIs, which we identified within a gene set induced by dormancy release stimuli. As expected, these VvERF-VIIs are localized within the nucleus, and are stabilized upon decreases in oxygen availability within the dormant buds. Less expected, the proteins are also stabilized upon hydrogen cyanamide (HC) application under normoxic conditions, and their levels peak at deepest dormancy under vineyard conditions. We proceeded to catalog the response of all bud-expressed ERFs, and identified additional ERFs that respond similarly to ethylene, HC, azide and hypoxia. We also identified a core set of genes that are similarly affected by treatment with ethylene and with various dormancy release stimuli. Interestingly, the functional annotations of this core set center around response to energy crisis and renewal of energy resources via autophagy-mediated catabolism. Because ERF-VIIs are stabilized under energy shortage and reshape cell metabolism to allow energy regeneration, we propose that: (i) the availability of VvERF-VIIs is a consequence of an energy crisis within the bud; (ii) VvERF-VIIs function as part of an energy-regenerating mechanism, which activates anaerobic metabolism and autophagy-mediated macromolecule catabolism; and (iii) activation of catabolism serves as the mandatory switch and the driving force for activation of the growth-inhibited meristem during bud-break.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1251-1268
Number of pages18
JournalPlant Journal
Issue number5
StatePublished - Dec 2020


  • Vitis vinifera
  • autophagy
  • bud
  • dormancy
  • ethylene
  • ethylene responding factor
  • grapevine
  • macromolecule catabolism
  • starvation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Plant Science
  • Cell Biology


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