terclim by ICS banner
IVES 9 IVES Conference Series 9 International Congress on Grapevine and Wine Sciences 9 2ICGWS-2023 9 Early defoliation positively enhances bioactive composition of berries with no effect on cuticle characteristics

Early defoliation positively enhances bioactive composition of berries with no effect on cuticle characteristics


Leaf removal in the fruit-zone has been employed to improve cluster light exposure and ventilation and therefore increase metabolite accumulation and reduce botrytis incidence in berries. When applied before flowering (early defoliation – ED), it can also decrease cluster compactness and regulate yield in high-yielding varieties. This study aimed to evaluate the impact of ED on the physiology and metabolism of Aragonez (syn. Tempranillo) berries along the ripening period. The experiment was set up in 2013 at a commercial vineyard located in the Lisbon winegrowing region. ED was compared to a control non-defoliated (ND). Berry temperature was continuously monitored and normal heat hours (NHH) were calculated. Photosynthetic active radiation at cluster level (PARcluster) was monitored at five phenological stages (green berry (GB), pea size (PS), veraison (VER), mid-ripening (MR) and full maturation (FM). Various berry parameters were monitored: sugars, acidity, wax content, berry permeance, flavonoid compounds, abscisic acid (ABA) and related metabolites. As compared to ND, ED induced ~80% increase in PARcluster, and higher NHH. Consequently, accumulated temperatures above 35ºC were higher in ED than in ND. No differences in anthocyanin compounds were observed at FM, however, in ED the glucoside forms of anthocyanins reached their maximum concentration at MR. A high correlation was found between anthocyanins and NHH (r>0.83, p<0.01) as well as between flavonols and PARcluster (r=0.73, p<0.05). ABA was slightly higher in ND than in ED for the same NHH and after VER, ABA decreased faster in ED than in ND. ABA-GE increased exponentially from VER, reaching its maximum at MR in ND, while in ED it continued to accumulate through FM. Neither the wax content nor the cuticle permeance were affected by the ED treatment. Overall, ED induced changes in cluster-zone thermal and light microclimate which impacted berry ripening metabolism.

Acknowledgements: This research received funding from the European Community’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007–2013), grant agreement nº 311775, Project Innovine.


Publication date: October 16, 2023

Issue: ICGWS 2023

Type: Poster


Olfa Zarrouk1,2, Ricardo Egipto2,3, Carla Pinheiro4, Cecilia Brunetti5,6, Antonella Gori6, Massimiliano Tattini5, M. Manuela Chaves1, Carlos M. Lopes2

1 Plant Molecular Ecophysiology Laboratory. Instituto de Tecnologia Química e Biológica (ITQB), Universidade NOVA de Lisboa, Oeiras, Portugal
2 LEAF—Linking Landscape, Environment, Agriculture and Food Research Center, Associated Laboratory TERRA, Instituto Superior de Agronomia, Universidade de Lisboa, Tapada da Ajuda, 1349-017 Lisboa, Portugal
3 INIAV – Instituto Nacional de Investigação Agrária e Veterinária, Polo de Inovação de Dois Portos, 2565-191 Dois Portos, Portugal
4 Department of Life Sciences, NOVA School of Science and Technology, Universidade NOVA de Lisboa, 2829-516 Caparica, Portugal
5 IPSP – Institute for Sustainable Plant Protection, National Research Council (CNR), Via Madonna del Piano 10, 50019 Sesto Fiorentino (Florence), Italy
6 DAGRI – Department of Agriculture, Environment, Food and Forestry, University of Florence, Viale delle Idee 30, 50019 Sesto Fiorentino (Florence), Italy

Contact the author*


ABA metabolism, anthocyanins, flavonols,
normal heat hours, Vitis vinifera, waxes


2ICGWS | ICGWS | ICGWS 2023 | IVES Conference Series


Related articles…

Glucosidase and esterase salivary activities and their involvement in consumer’s wine sensory perception and liking

Wine flavour is the integration of distinct physiologically defined sensory systems that combine taste, aroma and trigeminal sensations, and it is a key determinant factor for the acceptance of wine by consumers. Volatile compounds, are important contributors to wine flavour, specially to aroma. These small and low-boiling point compounds are easily released into the air allowing to enter and move within the nasal or oral cavities where they can bind the olfactory receptors. Additionally, wine also contains aroma precursors, which are non-volatile compounds, but that can be broken down releasing volatile odorants. During wine tasting, all these chemicals (volatiles and non-volatiles) can be submitted to the action of salivary enzymes.

A comprehensive study on the effect of foliar mineral treatments on grapevine microbiota, flavonoid gene expression, and berry composition

Recently, foliar treatments with mineral-based compounds have shown positive effects on grapevine production by protecting grape from thermal excesses and reducing the decoupling between technological and phenolic maturity caused by climate change. Unraveling the effect of mineral particle applications on grape-associated microbes is pivotal for successful wine processing, due to the influence of the microbiota on wine composition and stability. To our knowledge, this is the first work that comprehensively studied the effects of kaolin and chabasite-rich zeolitites treatments on grape-related microorganisms (by real-time PCR quantification of total fungi, Hanseniospora uvarum, Metschnikowia pulcherrima, plant-associated bacteria and lactic acid bacteria), the expression of genes related to the flavonoid biosynthesis (PAL1, CHS1, F3H2, DFR, LDOX, UFGT, MYBA1, GST4, FLS4 genes) and the berry composition (°Brix, pH, acidity and anthocyanin concentrations) in cv. Sangiovese during ripening in two growing seasons (2019 and 2020).

Comparison of the effects of hormone- and natural-based elicitors on key metabolic pathways in cv. Tempranillo

One of the most important effects of climate change in wine-growing areas is the advance of phenological stages, especially concerning early berry ripening. In the hottest seasons, this results in a lack of synchrony between sugar and phenolic ripeness. In order to cope with this fact, a general effort is being made by researchers and growers aiming at delaying ripening through different strategies. One of the proposed approaches is the application of elicitors. This study aims to assess the effect at the transcriptomic level of application of three elicitors (Vitalfit, Fruitel, and Protone) in Tempranillo.

Genetic study of wild grapevines in La Rioja region

Since the mid-1980s, several surveys have been carried out in La Rioja to search for populations of the sylvestris grapevine subspecies (Vitis vinifera L. subsp. sylvestris Gmelin). The banks of the Ebro River and its tributaries (Alhama, Cidacos, Leza, Iregua, Najerilla, Oja and Tirón rivers), as well as the surrounding vegetation of their valleys have been covered. So far, all the populations found are alluvial, forming part of the riparian vegetation of the Najerilla (the first reported population in La Rioja [1]), Iregua, and the vicinity of Oja valleys.

Assessment of plant water consumption rates under climate change conditions through an automated modular platform

The impact of climate change is noticeable in the present weather, making water scarcity the most immediate mediator reducing the performance and viability of crops, including grapevine (Vitis vinifera L.). The present study developed a system (hardware, firmware, and software) for the determination of plant water use through changes in weight through a period. The aim is to measure the differences in grapevine water consumption in response to climate change (+4oC and 700 ppm) under controlled conditions. The results reveal a correlation between daily plant consumption rates and reference evapotranspiration (ETo).