Terroir 2020 banner
IVES 9 IVES Conference Series 9 Influence of deficit irrigation on grapevine cv. “Touriga Nacional” in Douro region: A metabolomic approach

Influence of deficit irrigation on grapevine cv. “Touriga Nacional” in Douro region: A metabolomic approach


Aim: This study aimed to evaluate whether irrigation of Touriga Nacional in Douro Demarcated Region (DDR) can partly mitigate the negative impacts of ongoing climate change on grapevine yield and quality and its impact on plant metabolism.

Methods and results: Water status was determined by performing pre-dawn leaf water potential (ΨPd) using a pressure chamber throughout the growing season. Although from the end of July till the end of August of 2018 both R30 and R70 significantly prevented a decay of ΨPd under extreme drought conditions, R30 promoted only a relatively small increase of yield at harvest, but this increase was not observed at R70. In 2019, drought conditions were not so harsh than in 2018 and differences in cluster weights were not observed among irrigation treatments at harvest. A UPLC-MS-based targeted metabolomic analysis from the vintage 2018 identified 44 compounds in grapes from non-irrigated (R0), irrigated at 30% of evapotranspiration (ETc; R30) and 70% ETc (R70), corresponding to eight classes: amino acids; phenolic acids; stilbenoid DP1; stilbenoid DP2; flavonols; flavan-3-ols; di-OH anthocyanins and tri-OH anthocyanins. PCA analysis showed that irrigation influenced the composition of the different classes of grape berry compounds e.g. amino acids, phenolic acids, stilbenoids, flavonols, flavan-3-ols, and anthocyanins.


In the two consecutive seasons of 2018 and 2019 in DDR irrigation at R30 and R70 failed to bring Touriga Nacional vines to hydric comfort at veraison, when drought stress was more pronounced, and did not substantially affect yield and berry quality traits at harvest. However, UPLC-MS-base metabolomics analyses highlighted that berry metabolism was tuned under different irrigation regimes, but more water did not traduce in higher contents of key metabolites like anthocyanins

Significance and Impact of the Study: Douro Demarcated Region (DDR) has a Mediterranean climate with low rainfall values during summer, high temperatures and high levels of radiation. The introduction of irrigation in this region is still a matter of debate due to the limited number of available studies.


Publication date: March 25, 2021

Issue: Terroir 2020

Type : Video


Inês Cabral1*, António  Teixeira2, Arnaud  Lanoue3, Marianne  Unlubayir3, Thibaut  Munsch3, Joana  Valente4, Fernando  Alves4, Pedro  Costa4, Frank  Rogerson4, Susana  Carvalho1, Hernâni  Gerós2,5,6, Anabela  Carneiro1, Jorge  Queiroz1

1GreenUPorto – Research Centre for Sustainable Agrifood Production & DGAOT, Faculty of Sciences, University of Porto, Vairão, Portugal
2Centre of Molecular and Environmental Biology, Department of Biology, University of Minho, Gualtar, Portugal
3Université de Tours, EA2106 Biomolécules et Biotechnologie Végétales, Tours, France
4Symington Family Estates, Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal
5Centre for the Research and Technology of Agro-Environmental and Biological Sciences, University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro, Vila Real, Portugal
6Centre of Biological Engineering (CEB), Department of Biological Engineering, University of Minho, Gualtar, Portugal

Contact the author


Deficit irrigation, metabolomics, leaf water potential, grape quality


IVES Conference Series | Terroir 2020


Related articles…

Physiological and growth reaction of Shiraz/101-14 Mgt to row orientation and soil water status

Advanced knowledge on grapevine row orientation is required to improve establishment, management and outcomes of vineyards on terroirs with different environmental conditions (climate, soil, topography) and in view of a future change to more extreme climatic conditions. The purpose of this study was to determine the combined effect of row orientation, plant water status and ripeness level on the physiological and viticultural reaction of Shiraz/101-14 Mgt.

Effects of mechanical leafing and deficit irrigation on Cabernet Sauvignon grown in warm climate of California

San Joaquin Valley accounts for 40% of wine grape acreage and produces 70% of wine grape in California. Fruit quality is one of most important factors which impact the economical sustainability of farming wine grapes in this region. Due to the recent drought and expected labor cost increase, the wine industry is thrilled to understand how to improve fruit quality while maintaining the yield with less water and labor input. The present study aims to study the interactive effects of mechanical leafing and deficit irrigation on yield and berry compositions of Cabernet Sauvignon grown in warm climate of California.

The effects of cane girdling on berry texture properties and the concentration of some aroma compounds in three table grape cultivars

The marketability of the table grapes is highly influenced by the consumer demand; therefore the market value of the table grapes is mainly characterized by its berry size, colour, taste and texture. Girdling could cause accumulation of several components in plants above the ringing of the phloem including clusters and resulting improved maturity. The aim of the experiments was to examine the effect of girdling on berry texture characteristics and aroma concentration.

Application of a fluorescence-based method to evaluate the ripening process and quality of Pinot Blanc grape

The chemical composition of grape berries at harvest is one of the most important factors that should be considered to produce high quality wines. Among the different chemical classes which characterize the grape juice, the polyphenolic compound, such as flavonoids, contribute to the final taste and color of wines. Recently, an innovative non-destructive method, based on chlorophyll fluorescence, was developed to estimate the phenolic maturity of red grape varieties through the evaluation of anthocyanins accumulated in the berry skin. To date, only few data are available about the application of this method on white grape varieties.

Different yield regulation strategies in semi-minimal-pruned hedge (SMPH) and impact on bunch architecture

Yields in the novel viticulture training system Semi-Minimal-Pruned Hedge (SMPH) are generally higher compared to the traditional Vertical Shoot Positioning (VSP). Excessive yields have a negative impact on the vine and wine quality, which can result in substantial losses in yield in subsequent vintages (alternate bearing) or penalties in fruit quality. Therefore yield regulation is essential. The bunch architecture in SMPH differs from VSP. Generally there is a higher amount but smaller bunches with lower single berry weights in SMPH compared to VSP.