Technology Expands Understanding of Grapevine Pinot Gris Virus

Focusing on a specific vineyard in the Châteauneuf-du-Pape region in southern France, plant pathologists spent 8 years monitoring more than 60 plants for signs of the Grapevine Pinot gris virus (GPGV). Unlike previous observations in Italy, they observed an explosive spread of the virus, with over 75 percent of tested plants infected between 2014 and 2015. Surprisingly, only a marginal number of vines tested positive in the remaining five years of the study.

GPGV was first spotted in northeastern Italy in 2011 thanks to high-throughput sequencing (HTS), a newer technology that has improved our ability to better understand plant responses and expression. of the genome. Plant pathologists can also use HTS to identify the virome, which represents the assembly of viral genomes in a sample.

By examining GPGV, plant pathologist Jean-Michel Hily and his colleagues recovered genomic information from 18 samples and reassembled 25 complete genomes.

“Coupled with phylogenetic analyzes, we have proposed a model for the phylodynamic reconstruction of the introduction and propagation events of GPGV in the Châteauneuf-du-Pape region,” explained Hily. “The highest probability of introducing GPGV into the CDP vineyard was estimated between 1999 and 2003, with 3 to 6 independent introductions possible. It is also important to underline how powerful bioinformatics tools have become: our model accurately predicted a wave of transmission within the vineyard between 2014 and 2015, as has already been confirmed by RT-PCR. ”

Their results contrast with the GPGV situations in two Italian vineyards, which described rapid but steady and gradual spread of the virus over time. The explosive nature of the virus in the French vineyard adds to our understanding of GPGV and raises questions about vectors, specific climatic conditions, or other unknown parameters.

Hily and her colleagues have written about GPGV before. Their early work has provided a study of the history of the virus’s global evolution and is an excellent complement to their latest work, which provides more detail on the epidemiology at the local level.

“Our results also demonstrate the decoupling between the introduction of the virus, most likely from infected material, and its plant-to-plant transmission by vectors.” Learn more about their findings by reading “Biological Evidence and Molecular Modeling of a Pinot Gris Grapevine Virus Outbreak in a Vineyard” in the Phytobiomes Journal.


Hily JM, Komar V, Poulicard N, et al. Biological evidence and molecular modeling of an epidemic of Pinot gris virus of the vine in a vineyard. Journal of Phytobiomes. 2021; 5 (4): 464-472. do I:10.1094 / PBIOMES-11-20-0079-R

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