Changes in flavonol profile are a reliable indicator to assess the exposure of red grape berries to solar radiation and canopy architecture

Context and purpose of the study ‐ Exposure to solar radiation affects berry composition through photomorphogenesis or changes in temperature. Flavonol synthesis is upregulated by UV‐B radiation leaving a fingerprint on flavonol profile. This study aimed to test the factors affecting flavonol accumulation and profile and their potential as an indicator to assess the overall exposure of red wine grape berry to solar radiation.
Material and methods ‐ We performed three experiments to study the response of flavonol accumulation and profile to (1) three different solar radiation exclusion treatments (shading nets) during berry development; (2) canopy porosity and leaf area index (LAI); and (3) natural variability of vine vigour and canopy management practices.
Results ‐ Results showed a strong relationship between global radiation, inverse dormant pruning weights or canopy porosity (inversely proportional to LAI) and % kaempferol or % quercetin. Furthermore, the increase in concentration of the above two flavonols was associated with a reduction of % myricetin. Total flavonol content, % kaempferol, % quercetin and % myricetin had significant correlations with inverse dormant pruning weights, but these were less sensitive to over‐ripening or water deficits. Flavonol profile was associated to site hydrology (wetness index) through changes in vigour, and to LAI; and responded to shoot thinning or fruit‐zone leaf removal. Flavonol profile was also correlated to the maximal temperature reached by the clusters. These results support the reliability of the flavonol profile as an assessment parameter for studies aiming to discuss canopy architecture or the effect of solar radiation on grapevine berries.

Authors: Johann MARTÍNEZ‐LÜSCHER (1), Luca BRILLANTE (2,3), S. Kaan KURTURAL (1)

(1) Department of Viticulture and Enology University of California, Davis, U.S.A.
(2) Department of Viticulture and Enology California State University, Fresno, U.S.A.


Keywords: flavonoids, solar radiation, temperature, fruit ripening, grape composition, precision agriculture, UV‐B radiation

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