Investigating the impact of grape exposure and UV radiations on rotundone in Vitis vinifera L. Tardif grapes under field trial conditions

Rotundone is the main aroma compound responsible for peppery notes in wines whose biosynthesis is negatively affected by heat and drought. Through the alteration of precipitation regime and the increase in temperature during maturation, climate change is expected to affect wine peppery typicality. In this context there is a demand for developing sustainable viticultural strategies to enhance rotundone accumulation or limit its degradation. It was recently proposed that ultraviolet (UV) radiations could stimulate rotundone production. The aim of this study was to investigate under field trial conditions the impact of grape exposure and UV treatments on rotundone in Vitis vinifera L. Tardif, an almost extinct grape variety from south-west France that can express particularly high rotundone levels. Four different treatments were compared in 2021 to a control treatment using a randomised complete block design with three replications per treatment. Grape exposure was manipulated through early or late defoliation. Leaf and laterals shoots were removed at Eichorn Lorenz growth stages 32 or 34 on the morning-sun side of the canopy. During grape maturation, UV radiations were either reduced by 99% by installing UV radiation-shielding sheets, or applied four times using the Boxilumix™ non thermal device (Asclepios Tech, Tournefeuille) with the aim of activating plant signalling pathway. Loggers displayed in solar radiation shields were used to assess the effect of such shielding sheets on air temperature within the bunch zone. The composition of grapes subjected to these treatments will be soon analysed for their rotundone content and basic classical laboratory analyses. Grapes will be harvested to elaborate wines under standardized small-scale vinification conditions (60kg) that will be assessed by a trained sensory panel. 

Authors: Olivier Geffroy1, Thomas Baerenzung dit Baron1,2, Christian Chervin3, Chloé Cuif1, Carole Feilhès4, Elodie Gassiolle5, Christine Roynette6, Valérie Simon2 and Alban Jacques1

1Physiologie, Pathologie et Génétiques Végétales (PPGV), INP-PURPAN, Toulouse, France 
2Laboratoire de Chimie Agro-Industriel (LCA), INP-ENSIACET, Toulouse, France
3Génomique et Biotechnologie des Fruits (GBF), INP-ENSAT, Toulouse, France
4Institut Français de la Vigne et du Vin pôle Sud-Ouest, Lisle-sur-Tarn, France
5Plaimont Producteurs, Saint-Mont, France
6AsclepiosTech, Tournefeuille, France


Keywords: rotundone, defoliation, UV radiations, shielding sheets, signalling pathway

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