Grapevine plasticity in response to an altered microclimate: Sauvignon Blanc modulates specific metabloites in response to increased berry exposure

Philip R. Young, Eyeghe-Bickong Hans A, Kari du Plessis, Erik Alexandersson, Dan A Jacobson, Zelmari Coetzee, Alain Deloire, Melanie A Vivier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In this study, the metabolic and physiological impacts of an altered microclimate on quality-associated primary and secondary metabolites in grape (Vitis vinifera) 'Sauvignon Blanc' berries was determined in a high-altitude vineyard. The leaf and lateral shoot removal in the bunch zones altered the microclimate by increasing the exposure of the berries. The physical parameters (berry diameter and weight), primary metabolites (sugars and organic acids), as well as bunch temperature and leaf water potential were predominantly not affected by the treatment. The increased exposure led to higher levels of specific carotenoids and volatile terpenoids in the exposed berries, with earlier berry stages reacting distinctly from the later developmental stages. Plastic/nonplastic metabolite responses could be further classified to identify metabolites that were developmentally controlled and/or responded to the treatment in a predictable fashion (assessed over two consecutive vintages). The study demonstrates that grapevine berries exhibit a degree of plasticity within their secondary metabolites and respond physiologically to the increased exposure by increasing metabolites with potential antioxidant activity. Taken together, the data provide evidence that the underlying physiological responses relate to the maintenance of stress pathways by modulating antioxidant molecules in the berries.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1235-1254
Number of pages20
JournalPlant Physiology
Volume170
Issue number3
Early online date2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2016

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