IVAS 2022 banner
IVES 9 IVES Conference Series 9 IVAS 9 IVAS 2022 9 New fungus-resistant grapevine varieties display high and drought-independent thiol precursor levels

New fungus-resistant grapevine varieties display high and drought-independent thiol precursor levels


The use of varieties tolerant to diseases is a long-term but promising option to reduce chemical input in viticulture. Several important breeding programs in Europe and abroad are starting to release a range of new hybrids performing well regarding fungi susceptibility and wine quality. Unfortunately, little attention is paid by the breeders to the adaptation of these varieties to climatic changes and to the aromatic potential such as thiol precursors. Indeed, varietal thiols (3-sulfanylhexan-ol (3SH) and its acetate or the 4-methyl-4-sulfanylpentan-2-one (4MSP)) are very powerful aromatic compounds in wines coming from odorless precursors in grapes and could contribute to the typicity of such varieties. This study aimed to characterize 6 new resistant varieties selected by INRAE (Floreal, G5 and 3159B for white grapes and Artaban, 3176N and G14 for red grapes) in comparison to Syrah to (i) quantify the thiol precursors in the fruits and to (ii) evaluate the influence of water deficit (WD) imposed on field-grown vines on these molecules. Grapes were picked-up at the arrest of phloem unloading to objectify the sampling at a precise physiological landmark and analyzed by LC-MS/MS. Six thiol precursors were quantified by isotopic dilution across all samples and only 3 were clearly identified and quantified: the glutathionylated (G3SH), cysteinylated (Cys3SH) and one dipeptidic precursors of 3SH (CysGly3SH). For all varieties, G3SH contents represented between 75 and 100% of the aromatic potential, followed by Cys3SH (0-16%) and finally the CysGly3SH (0-13%). The absolute concentrations of G3SH ranged from 31 to 132 µg/kg for white varieties and from 68 to 466 µg/kg for red ones. Surprisingly, 3176N had exceptional G3SH levels that can reach 466 µg/kg which corresponded to nearly 777 µg/L in volume concentration. The pedigree of this variety which includes Grenache as a progenitor could explain the high levels of thiol precursors as observed in the Rosé wines of Provence, a type of wines also characterized by high levels of varietal thiols. Whatever the variety, we did not find marked effects of WD on the contents in thiol precursors when expressed in µg/kg. When expressed in µg/berry to reflect the real impact of WD on rate of metabolite accumulation per organ, 3176N and Artaban showed significant differences between moderate and high WD treatments (p-value < 0.05, less amount of thiol precursors in WD grapes). Analyzing thiol precursors and more generally metabolites of interest in fruits requires to objectify the sampling date at a given physiological stage. This allows deciphering the effects of environmental factors on the accumulation of metabolites at organ or plant level and their consequences in the concentration of the fruit at harvest. In conclusion, resistant varieties seemed to be less impacted by WD than Vinifera ones, which is bode well for the development of these varieties in relation to climate change challenges.


Publication date: June 23, 2022

Issue: IVAS 2022

Type: Article


Roland Aurélie1, Wilhelm Luciana2,3,4, Torregrosa Laurent2,3, Dournes Gabriel4, Pellegrino Anne3 and Ojeda Hernán2

1 SPO, Univ Montpellier, INRAE, Institut Agro, Montpellier, France
2 UE Pech Rouge, INRAE, Gruissan, France
3 UMR LEPSE, Montpellier Uni – CIRAD – INRAE – Institut Agro, Montpellier, France
4 UMR AGAP, Montpellier Uni – CIRAD – INRAE – Institut Agro, Montpellier, France  

Contact the author


Climate change, water deficit, tolerant varieties, wine quality, thiol precursors


IVAS 2022 | IVES Conference Series


Related articles…

Variety specific thresholds for plant-based indicators of vine nitrogen status

Aim: Several plant-based indicators of vine N status are reported in the literature. Among these, yeast assimilable nitrogen in grape must (YAN) and total N concentration of petiole and leaf blades are considered to be reliable indicators and so is the chlorophyll index, measured with a device called N-tester. The N-tester index is used to measure the intensity of the green colour of the leaf blade, and therefore to estimate its chlorophyll content.

Monitoring of microbial biomass to characterise vineyard soils

Le sol est un facteur important permettant la croissance de la vigne. Les propriétés physiques et chimiques, mais aussi microbiologiques ont une influence sur beaucoup des fonctions du sol comme la structure, le drainage, la fertilité, déterminant la vigueur des plantes et le potentiel œnologique des raisins.

Aromatic maturity is a cornerstone of terroir expression in red wine

Harvesting grapes at adequate maturity is key to the production of high-quality red wines. Enologists and wine makers define several types of maturity, including technical maturity, phenolic maturity and aromatic maturity. Technical maturity and phenolic maturity are relatively well documented in the scientific literature, while articles on aromatic maturity are scarcer. This is surprising, because aromatic maturity is, without a doubt, the most important of the three in determining wine quality and typicity (including terroir expression). Optimal terroir expression can be obtained when the different types of maturity are reached at the same time, or within a short time frame. This is more likely to occur when the ripening takes place under mild temperatures, neither too cool, nor too hot. Aromatic expression in wine can be driven, from low to high maturity, by green, herbal, fresh fruit, ripe fruit, jammy fruit, candied fruit or cooked fruit aromas. Green and cooked fruit aromas are not desirable in red wines, while the levels of other aromatic compounds contribute to the typicity of the wine in relation to its origin. Wines produced in cool climates, or on cool soils in temperate climates, are likely to express herbal or fresh fruit aromas; while wines produced under warm climates, or on warm soils in temperate climates, may express ripe fruit, jammy fruit or candied fruit aromas. Growers can optimize terroir expression through their choice of grapevine variety. Early ripening varieties perform better in cool climates and late ripening varieties in warm climates. Additionally, maturity can be advanced or delayed by different canopy management practices or training systems.

Bacterial community in different wine appellations – biotic and abiotic interaction in grape berry and its impact on Botrytis cinerea development

An in-depth knowledge on the conditions that trigger Botrytis disease and the microbial community associated with the susceptibility/resistance to it could led to the anticipation and response to the Botrytis emergence and severity. Therefore, the present study pretends to establish links between biotic and abiotic factors and the presence/abundance of B. cinerea.

Shoot positioning: effect on physiological, vegetative and reproductive parameters

[English version below]

On a étudié durant deux saisons de croissance (2002/2003 et 2003/2004) l’effet de l’orientation vertical des rameaux sur les paramètres physiologiques, végétatifs et reproductifs dans la région de Stellenbosch dans un vignoble du cépage Merlot sur 99 R conduite à espalier et taillé a cordon coursonné. Les vignes étaient espacées 2.7 x 1.5 m. L’irrigation a été appliquée quand la baie avait la dimension d’un pois et a la véraison.