Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Proteomics reveals the intricacies of grape ripening in our weird American hybrids!

There are two ways to grow grapes in the United States.
You can graft historically famous grapes from regions that don't have horrible American soil diseases to grape vines that are from here -- as long as the famous vines don't touch the soil too much and contract these diseases they might live.
You can grow grapes that scientists have been developing for years here that maybe don't taste just like the famous grapes -- can be quite good in their own right -- but have the somewhat important advantage of actually growing grapes rather than dying.

This cool new paper in press at Proteomics...

...fills in a lot of the story!

They take an American hybrid I'm not familiar with (that grows successfully in the humid south --Science for the WIN!) and harvest grapes at a bunch of stages through the ripening process

The protein extracts are separated on 1D-PAGE and gel slices are cut and digested out. It looks like an Orbi XL is used for the LC-MS (presumably "high-low" and all the data analysis and stats were performed using Scaffold.

What do they get?
1) A really thorough understanding of the ripening process of this grape varietal. Something around 1,000 quantifiable proteins
2) Honestly -- WOW-- ever wondered where all the grape tastes come from? I'm really blown away by how much this fills in. About 8% of the proteins they quantify can be directly linked to flavor, aroma, or ethylene production and they go into these at length. They can tell when the grape is working on making the terpenes and the flavones and bunches of other words I don't know.

It is a really nice study all-around and an interesting read.

Something semi-related that I think is interesting. A teacher makes cool infographic things showing the chemistry behind things on a website called Compound Interest. His post on red wine can be found here.

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