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Burkholderia phytofirmans PsJN Acclimates Grapevine to Cold by Modulating Carbohydrate Metabolism

April 2012 , Volume 25 , Number  4
Pages  496 - 504

Olivier Fernandez,1 Andreas Theocharis,1 Sophie Bordiec,1 Regina Feil,2 Lucile Jacquens,1 Christophe Clément,1 Florence Fontaine,1 and Essaid Ait Barka1

1Université de Reims Champagne Ardenne, Unité de Recherche Vignes et Vins de Champagne–Stress et Environnement (EA 2069), UFR Sciences Exactes et Naturelles, BP 1039, 51687 Reims Cedex 2, France; 2Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology, Am Mühlenberg 1, 14424 Potsdam, Germany

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Accepted 16 November 2011.

Low temperatures damage many temperate crops, including grapevine, which, when exposed to chilling, can be affected by symptoms ranging from reduced yield up to complete infertility. We have previously demonstrated that Burkholderia phytofirmans PsJN, a plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) that colonizes grapevine, is able to reduce chilling-induced damage. We hypothesized that the induced tolerance may be explained at least partly by the impact of bacteria on grapevine photosynthesis or carbohydrate metabolism during cold acclimation. To investigate this hypothesis, we monitored herein the fluctuations of photosynthesis parameters (net photosynthesis [Pn], intercellular CO2 concentration, stomatal conductances, ΦPSII, and total chlorophyll concentration), starch, soluble sugars (glucose, fructose, saccharose, mannose, raffinose, and maltose), and their precursors during 5 days of chilling exposure (4°C) on grapevine plantlets. Bacterization affects photosynthesis in a non–stomatal dependent pattern and reduced long-term impact of chilling on Pn. Furthermore, all studied carbohydrates known to be involved in cold stress tolerance accumulate in non-chilled bacterized plantlets, although some of them remained more concentrated in the latter after chilling exposure. Overall, our results suggest that modification of carbohydrate metabolism in bacterized grapevine plantlets may be one of the major effects by which this PGPR reduces chilling-induced damage.

© 2012 The American Phytopathological Society