Phenolic composition of Tempranillo Blanco grapes changes after foliar application of urea

Our research aimed to determine the effect and efficiency of foliar application of urea on the phenolic composition of Tempranillo Blanco grapes. The field experiment was carried out in 2019 and 2020 seasons and the plot was located in D.O.Ca Rioja (North of Spain). The vineyard was Vitis vinifera L. Tempranillo Blanco and grafted on Richter-110 rootstock. The treatments were control (C), whose plants were sprayed with water and three doses of urea: plants were sprayed with urea 3 kg N/ha (U3), 6 kg N/ha (U6) and 9 kg N/ha (U9). The applications were performed in two phenological stages, pre-veraison (Pre) and veraison (Ver). Also, each of the treatments was repeated one week later. Control and treatments were performed in triplicate and arranged in a randomised block design. Grapes were harvested at optimum ripening stage. High-performance liquid chromatography was used to analyse the phenolic composition of the grapes. Finally, the results obtained from the analytical determinations – flavonols, flavanols and non-flavonoid (hydroxybenzoic acids, hydroxycinnamic acids and stilbenes) – were studied statistically by analysis of variance. The results showed that, in 2019, U6-Pre and U9-Pre treatments increased the hydroxybenzoic acid content in grapes, and also all foliar treatments applied at Pre enhanced the stilbene concentration. Moreover, U3-Ver was the only treatment that rose flavonol and stilbene contents in the Tempranillo Blanco grapes. In 2020, all treatments applied at Pre enhanced the flavonol concentration in grapes. Furthermore, U3-Pre and U9-Pre treatments increased stilbene content in grapes. Nevertheless, the hydroxybenzoic acid content was improved by U6-Ver and U9-Ver and besides, hydroxycinnamic acid concentration in grapes was increased by all treatments applied at Ver. In conclusion, the lower and highest dose of urea (U3 and U9), applied at pre-veraison, were the best treatments to improve the Tempranillo Blanco grape phenolic composition.

Authors: Rebeca Murillo-Peña, Teresa Garde-Cerdán and José María Martínez-Vidaurre 

Instituto de Ciencias de la Vid y del Vino (Gobierno de La Rioja, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas Universidad de La Rioja), La Rioja, Spain


Keywords: foliar application, phenolic compounds, phenological stage, Tempranillo Blanco, urea

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