Grapevine under deficit irrigation: hints from physiological and molecular data

Instituto Superior de Agronomia, Technical University of Lisbon, Tapada da Ajuda 1349-017 Lisbon, Portugal.
Annals of Botany (Impact Factor: 3.3). 03/2010; 105(5):661-76. DOI: 10.1093/aob/mcq030
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT BACKGROUND: A large proportion of vineyards are located in regions with seasonal drought (e.g. Mediterranean-type climates) where soil and atmospheric water deficits, together with high temperatures, exert large constraints on yield and quality. The increasing demand for vineyard irrigation requires an improvement in the efficiency of water use. Deficit irrigation has emerged as a potential strategy to allow crops to withstand mild water stress with little or no decreases of yield, and potentially a positive impact on fruit quality. Understanding the physiological and molecular bases of grapevine responses to mild to moderate water deficits is fundamental to optimize deficit irrigation management and identify the most suitable varieties to those conditions. SCOPE: How the whole plant acclimatizes to water scarcity and how short- and long-distance chemical and hydraulic signals intervene are reviewed. Chemical compounds synthesized in drying roots are shown to act as long-distance signals inducing leaf stomatal closure and/or restricting leaf growth. This explains why some plants endure soil drying without significant changes in shoot water status. The control of plant water potential by stomatal aperture via feed-forward mechanisms is associated with 'isohydric' behaviour in contrast to 'anysohydric' behaviour in which lower plant water potentials are attained. This review discusses differences in this respect between grapevines varieties and experimental conditions. Mild water deficits also exert direct and/or indirect (via the light environment around grape clusters) effects on berry development and composition; a higher content of skin-based constituents (e.g. tannins and anthocyanins) has generally being reported. Regulation under water deficit of genes and proteins of the various metabolic pathways responsible for berry composition and therefore wine quality are reviewed.

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    ABSTRACT: Background and Aims In recent years, increasing summer temperature, coupled with reduced and erratic rainfall during the growing season, has induced accelerated fruit ripening in several regions, resulting in an undesirable increase in wine alcohol concentration. This study was designed to evaluate the impact of canopy and water management on grape sugar and flavonoid accumulation, with the goal of reducing wine alcohol concentration while conserving or enhancing the concentration of phenolic substances. Methods and Results In 2011 and 2012, two irrigation treatments (I – irrigated and DI – deficit irrigated) and two canopy heights (HC – high canopy and SC – short canopy) were applied in a Merlot vineyard. No interactions between treatments were observed, and thus independent results were obtained; DI berries had significantly higher sugar concentration (+5%) than that of I in both years and higher wine alcohol concentration only in 2012. Short canopy berries had lower sugar concentration (−4%) and lower wine alcohol (−8%) (only in 2011) than that of HC. Anthocyanins and tannins in berry and wine were increased by water deficit and not affected by severe trimming. Conclusions Deficit irrigation did not reduce berry sugar concentration and wine alcohol concentration but did enhance desirable wine attributes. Berry sugar concentration and alcohol concentration in wine were reduced by SC in one of the two seasons. Water deficit and severe trimming showed independent effects on berry composition. Significance of the Study Severe canopy reduction at early stages of ripening can reduce sugars without affecting the accumulation of anthocyanins in Merlot. Conversely, DI applied before veraison, despite promoting anthocyanins accumulation, may also increase berry sugar concentration at harvest.
    Australian Journal of Grape and Wine Research 05/2015; DOI:10.1111/ajgw.12143 · 2.78 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Knowing the water status of grape strains is essential for quality wine. Traditional pressure-chamber methods for estimating water stress are laborious and destructive. We evaluated the effectiveness of spectroscopic methods to estimate water content in commercial vine for three grape varieties (Mencía, Merlot and Tempranillo) from vineyards in El Bierzo (NW Spain). We also determined the spectral range, data fitting method and degree of transformation of spectral data necessary to estimate equivalent water thickness (EWT), from the untransformed spectrum (vegetation indices and full spectra) and from the spectrum transformed using continuum removal (CR) (CR reflectance and CR-derived indices). Partial least squares regression (PLSR) and ordinary least squares regression (OLSR) were used to fit the model. The results depended on the range studied, with the best results obtained for Tempranillo. Continuous stretches of the spectrum produced more suitable EWT models than vegetation indices. The models obtained from the transformed spectrum produced more accurate estimates. The best model was obtained using PLSR in the spectrum transformed by CR in the range 1265 nm to 1668 nm (R2 = 6.75 and RMSE = 0.014%). We demonstrate that a field spectroradiometer determines vine water status rapidly and without damaging sampled leaves.
    Scientia Horticulturae 06/2015; 188:15-22. DOI:10.1016/j.scienta.2015.03.012 · 1.50 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background and AimsInteractions are the main causes of complexity in field experiments; however, no studies have combined water and temperature regimes in field-growing vines. Here we assessed grape and wine attributes from a field trial where these factors were directly manipulated.Methods and ResultsThe experiment consisted of Shiraz vines grown in a 22 factorial experiment with two temperature (control and heated) and two water regimes (deficit and irrigated) during two seasons (2010/11 and 2011/12). The sensory and compositional characteristics of grapes and wines were assessed in both seasons, whereas a detailed profile of the phenolic substances was determined by spectrophotometry in 2011/12. We found additive effects (i.e. lack of interaction) between temperature and water for berry mass and components, fruit composition (titratable acidity and pH), grape phenolic substances (12.5% ethanol-extracted and most of the 70% acetone-extracted), wine phenolic substances (chemical age 2), and wine sensory traits (floral aromas and berry flavours). Significantly, previously unrecorded interactions between temperature and water were found for grape phenolic substances (70% acetone-extracted skin and seed tannins and total phenolic substances per berry), wine phenolic substances (colour density, tannins and phenolic substances) and wine sensory traits (floral aromas, cooked fruit flavours and tannin structure).Conclusion The effect of water deficit leading to colourful and flavoursome wines rich in phenolic substances may not be held under high temperature.Significance of the StudyOur study anticipates the drier and hotter climate of the Barossa Valley, and provides industry with indications of a shift in wine profiles that would require technological innovation to maintain the identity of Barossa Shiraz.
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