Metabolomic discrimination of grapevine water status for Chardonnay and Pinot noir

Water status impact in viticulture has been widely explored, as it strongly affects grapevine physiology and grape chemical composition. It is considered as a key component of vitivinicultural terroir. Most of the studies concerning grapevine water status have focused on either physiological traits, or berry compounds, or traits involved in wine quality. Here, the response of grapevine to water availability during the ripening period is assessed through non-targeted metabolomics analysis of grape berries by ultra-high resolution mass spectrometry. The grapevine water status has been assessed during 2 consecutive years (2019 & 2020), through carbon isotope discrimination on juices from berries collected at maturity (21.5 brix approx.) for 2 Vitis vinifera cv. Pinot noir (PN) and Chardonnay (CH). A total of 220 grape juices were collected from 5 countries worldwide (Italy; Argentina; France; Germany; Portugal). Measured δ13C (‰) varied from -28.73 to -22.6 for PN, and from -28.79 to -21.67 for CH. These results also clearly revealed higher water stress for the 2020 vintage. The same grape juices have been analysed by Fourier Transform Ion Cyclotron Resonance Mass Spectrometry (FT-ICR-MS) and Liquid Chromatography coupled to Mass Spectrometry (LC-qTOF-MS), leading to the detection of up to 4500 CHONS containing elemental compositions, and thus likely tens of thousands of individual compounds, which include fatty acids, organic acids, peptides, phenolics, also with high levels of glycosylation.  Multivariate statistical analysis revealed that up to 160 elemental compositions, covering the whole range of detected masses (100 –1000 m/z), were significantly correlated to the observed gradients of water status. Examples of chemical markers, which are representative of these complex fingerprints, include various derivatives of the known abscisic acid (ABA), such as phaesic acid or abscisic acid glucose ester, which are significantly correlated with higher water stress, regardless of the variety. Cultivar-specific behaviours could also be identified from these fingerprints. Our results provide an unprecedented representation of the metabolic diversity, which is involved in the water status regulation at the grape level, and which could contribute to a better knowledge of the grapevine mitigation strategy in a climate change context.

Authors: Sébastien Nicolas1, Benjamin Bois2, Kévin Billet1, Mourad Harir3, Marianna Lucio3, Olivier Mathieu2, Anne-Lise Santoni2, Roy Urvieta4, Fernando Buscema4, Héloise Mahé5, Christine Monamy5, Sébastien Debuisson6, Julie Perry6, Fernando Alves7, Agnes Destrac8, Olivier Yobregat9, Laurent Audeguin10, Manfred Stoll11, Jean-Yves Cahurel12, Florian Haas13, Marianne Henner14, Philippe Schmitt-kopplin3 and Régis D. Gougeon1     

1Univ. Bourgogne Franche-Comté, AgroSup Dijon, PAM UMR A 02.102, Institut Universitaire de la Vigne et du Vin – Jules Guyot, Dijon, France
2Biogéosciences UMR 6282 CNRS/Univ Bourgogne Franche Comté – Institut Universitaire de la Vigne et du Vin, 21000 Dijon, France
3Research Unit Analytical BioGeoChemistry, Helmholtz Zentrum München, Neuherberg, Germany
4Catena Institute of Wine, Bodega Catena Zapata, Mendoza, Argentina
5Bureau Interprofessionnel des Vins de Bourgogne, Centre Interprofessionnel Technique, Beaune, France
6CIVC, Comité interprofessionnel du vin de Champagne, Epernay, France 
7Symington,  Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal
8EGFV, Univ. Bordeaux, Bordeaux Sciences Agro, INRAE, ISVV, Villenave d’Ornon, France
9Institut Français de la Vigne et du Vin Pôle Sud-Ouest, V’innopôle, Lisle Sur Tarn, France
10Institut Français de la Vigne et du Vin, Domaine de l’Espiguette, Le Grau du Roi, France
11Institut für Weinbau und Rebenzüchtung, Fachgebiet Weinbau, Forschungsanstalt Geisenheim, Geisenheim, Germany
12Institut Français de la Vigne et du Vin, Pôle Bourgogne – Beaujolais – Jura – Savoie, Villefranche/Saône cedex, France
13Laimburg Research Centre, Ora, Italy
14Chambre d’agriculture Alsace, Sainte-croix-en-plaine, France


Keywords: climate change, water stress, mass spectrometry, untargeted metabolomics, Pinot noir, Chardonnay

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