R&D program


The role of epigenetic memory in dieback, from epigenetic landscapes to physiology 

Keywords: epigenetics, methylation, histone markers, stress, phytosanitary products, carbon

Plants store much information on their DNA which affects the way their genes function. This information, when passed on between cells, is known as epigenetic memory. Stress stimuli can modify this information and thus the way the genome functions. There has not yet been any research into the role of this long-term memory on vine dieback. EPIDEP studies the link between the evolution of the vine’s epigenomes and the dieback process. The project is based on a systemic approach, combining the analysis of the plant’s epigenetic status with the study of its physiology in relation to agronomic practices and environmental constraints.

The project describes the particular genetic features of vines undergoing dieback in order to identify any specificities in their case. The impact of agronomic and/or environmental constraints on the genome will be determined and compared to the characteristics of plants undergoing dieback. The goal is to identify relevant indicators for the development of tools for diagnosing vines in a state of dieback before the appearance of visible symptoms.


  • Action 1: Definition of epigenetic profiles of plants in a state of dieback
  • Action 2: Analysis of the consequences of different stress states on leaves’ transcriptomes and epigenomes
  • Action 3: Epigenetic indicators of dieback and development of tests that can be used to analyse plants in the vineyard


Led by the INRA (UMR EGFV, Vine Ecophysiology and Functional Genomics) in Bordeaux, the EPIDEP project will work with the support of the CNRS UMR EBI (Ecology and Biology of Interactions), the INRA UMR SAVE (Vineyard Health and Agroecology), and the Gironde Agriculture Chamber. The UMR System is also involved in this project.


The project is planned to run between July 2018 and December 2020.

Philippe Gallusci
Grape trunk disease environmental stress viticulture practices