terclim by ICS banner
IVES 9 IVES Conference Series 9 GiESCO 9 GiESCO 2023 9 Effects of the biodynamic preparations 500 and 501 on vine and berry physiology, pedology and the soil microbiome

Effects of the biodynamic preparations 500 and 501 on vine and berry physiology, pedology and the soil microbiome


Context and purpose of the study –

In the pursuit of increasing sustainability, climate change resiliency and independence of synthetic pesticides in agriculture, the interest of consumers and producers in organic and biodynamic farming is steadily increasing. This is in particular the case for the vitivinicultural industry in Europe, where more and more producers are converting from organic to biodynamic farming. However, clear scientific evidence showing that biodynamic farming improves vine physiology, vine stress resilience, berry or wine quality, or is more sustainable for the environment is still lacking although this issue has been addressed by several research teams worldwide.

Material and methods –

To investigate whether biodynamic farming methods have an impact on vine physiology, berry quality or the environment, a long-term experiment has been set up in 2016 in a commercial vinery in Switzerland. In this trial the two main biodynamic preparations 500 and 501 were applied and compared to an organic control. Vine and berry physiology (Photosynthesis, vigour, sugar, organic acids, berry weight, yield) were assessed from 2016 to 2020. Soil physical properties (soil bulk density, water holding capacity, soil structural stability, macropore volume) were analysed from 2017-2020, furthermore, soil fungal communities were analyzed by DNA-sequencing in the last year of the experiment (2020).

Results –

All parameters related to vine and berry physiology didn’t show any significant differences throughout the duration of the experiments. This was similar concerning the analyzed soil factors, which were not influenced by the application of the two biodynamic preparations in all years. Regarding the soil microbiome, 500 and 501 preparations did not lead to significant differences in fungal diversity and did not seem to impact the soil fungal communities. The present study confirms previous findings of different research teams that didn’t observe significant differences between organic and biodynamic farming methods concerning the observed soil and vine parameters.


Publication date: June 23, 2023

Issue: GiESCO 2023

Type: Article


Markus Rienth1*, Frederic Lamy1, Clément Chessex1, Thierry Heger1

1University of Sciences and Art Western Switzerland, Changins College for Viticulture and Oenology, Nyon, Switzerland

Contact the author*


biodynamic viticulture, microbial diversity, organic viticulture, vine physiology, berry quality


GiESCO | GIESCO 2023 | IVES Conference Series


Related articles…

Effect of foliar application of Ca, Si and their combination on grape volatile composition

Calcium (Ca) is an important nutrient for plants which plays key signaling and structural roles. It has been observed that exogenous Ca application favors the pectin accumulation and inhibition of polygalacturonase enzymes, minimizing fruit spoilage. Silicon (Si) is a non-essential element which has been found to be beneficial for improving crop yield and quality, as well as plant tolerance to diverse abiotic and biotic stress factors. The effect of Si supply to grapevine has been assessed in few investigations, which reported positive changes in grape quality and must composition.

Late winter pruning induces a maturity delay under temperature-increased conditions in cv. Merlot from Chile

Chile is considered vulnerable to climate change; and these phenomena affect several mechanisms in the grape physiology and quality. The global temperature increase affects sugar contents, organic acids, and phenolic compounds in grapes, producing an imbalance maturity. In this sense, an alternative to reduce the impact is to perform pruning after vine budburst, known as “Late Pruning” (LP).

Effect of two water deficit regimes on the agronomic response of 12 grapevine varieties cultivated in a semi-arid climate

The Mediterranean basin is one of the most vulnerable regions to Climate Change effects. According to unanimous forecasts, the vineyards of Castilla-La Mancha will be among the most adversely affected by rising temperatures and water scarcity during the vine’s vegetative period. One potential strategy to mitigate the negative impacts of these changes involves the identification of grapevine varieties with superior water use efficiency, while ensuring satisfactory yields and grape quality.

Influence of irrigation frequency on berry phenolic composition of red grape varieties cultivated in four spanish wine-growing regions

The global warming phenomenon involves the frequency of extreme meteorological events accompanied by a change in rainfall distribution. Irrigation frequency (IF) affects the spatial and temporal soil water distribution but its effects on the phenolic composition of the grape have been scarcely studied. The aim of this work was to evaluate the effects of four deficit irrigation frequencies of 30 % ETo: one irrigation per day (T01), two irrigations per week (T03), one irrigation per week (T07) and one irrigation every two weeks (T15) on berry phenolic composition at harvest.

Response of red grape varieties irrigated during the summer to water availability at the end of winter in four Spanish wine-growing regions: berry phenolic composition

Water availability is the most limiting factor for vineyard productivity under Mediterranean conditions. Due to the effects caused by the current climate change, wine-growing regions may face serious soil moisture conservation problems, due to the lower water retention capacity of the soil and higher soil irradiation. The aim of this work was to evaluate the effects of soil recharge irrigation in pre-sprouting and summer irrigation every week (30 % ETo) from the pea size state until the end of ripening (RP) compared to exclusively summer irrigation every week (R) in the same way that RP, on berry phenolic composition at harvest.