Choosing the rootstock, the scion variety and the training system best suited to the local soil and climate are the key elements for an economically sustainable production of wine. The choice of the rootstock/scion variety best adapted to the characteristics of the soil is essential but, by changing climatic conditions, ongoing climate change disrupts the fine-tuned local equilibrium. Higher temperatures induce shifts in developmental stages, with on the one hand increasing fears of spring frost damages and, on the other hand, ripening during the warmest periods in summer. Expected higher water demand and longer and more frequent drought events are also major concerns. The genetic control of the phenotypes, by genomic information but also by the epigenetic control of gene expression, offers a lot of opportunities for adapting the plant material to the future. For complex traits, genomic selection is also a promising method for predicting phenotypes. However, ecophysiological modelling is necessary to better anticipate the phenotypes in unexplored climatic conditions Genetic approaches applied on parameters of ecophysiological models rather than raw observed data are more than ever the basis for finding, or building, the ideal varieties of the future.
Measurement of carbon isotope discrimination in berry juice sugars at maturity (δ13C) provides an integrated assessment of water use efficiency (WUE) during the period of berry ripening, and when collected over multiple seasons can be used as an indication of drought stress response. Berry juice δ13C measurements were carried out on 48 different varieties planted in a common garden experiment in Bordeaux, France from 2014 through 2021 and were paired with midday and predawn leaf water potential measurements on the same vines in a subset of six varieties. The aim was to discriminate a large panel of varieties based on their stomatal behaviour and potentially identify hydraulic traits characterizing drought tolerance by comparing δ13C and hydroscapes (the visualisation of plant stomatal behaviour as a response to predawn water potential). Cluster analysis found that δ13C values are likely affected by the differing phenology of each variety, resulting in berry ripening of different varieties taking place under different stress conditions within the same year. We accounted for these phenological differences and found that cluster analysis based on specific δ13C metrics created a classification of varieties that corresponds well to our current empirical understanding of their relative drought tolerances. In addition, we analysed the water potential regulation of the subset of six varieties (using the hydroscape approach) and found that it was well correlated with some δ13C metrics. Surprisingly, a variety’s water potential regulation (specifically its minimum critical leaf water potential under water deficit) was strongly correlated to δ13C values under well-watered conditions, suggesting that base WUE may have a stronger impact on drought tolerance than WUE under water deficit. These results give strong insights on the innate WUE of a very large panel of varieties and suggest that studies of drought tolerance should include traits expressed under non-limiting conditions.
20-Year-Old data set: scion x rootstock x climate, relationships. Effects on phenology and sugar dynamics
Global warming is one of the biggest environmental, social, and economic threats. In the Douro Valley, change to the climate are expected in the coming years, namely an increase in average temperature and a decrease in annual precipitation. Since vine cultivation is extremely vulnerable and influenced by the climate, these changes are likely to have negative effects on the production and quality of wine.
Adaptation is a major challenge facing the viticulture sector where the choice of plant material plays an important role, particularly the rootstock as it is a driver for adaptation with a wide range of effects, the most important being phylloxera, nematode and salt, tolerance to drought and a complex set of interactions in the grafted plant.
In an experimental vineyard, established in the Douro Region in 1997, with four randomized blocs, with five varieties, Touriga Nacional, Tinta Barroca, Touriga Franca and Tinta Roriz, grafted in four rootstocks, Rupestris du Lot, R110, 196-17C, R99 and 1103P, data was collected consecutively over 20 years (2001-2020). Phenological observations were made two to three times a week, following established criteria, to determine the average dates of budbreak, flowering and veraison. During maturation, weekly berry samples were taken to study the dynamics of sugar accumulation, amongst other parameters. Climate data was collected from a weather station located near the vineyard parcel, with data classified through several climatic indices.
The results achieved show a very low coefficient of variations in the average date of the phenophases and an important contribution from the rootstock in the dynamic of the phenology, allowing a delay in the cycle of up to10-12 days for the different combinations. The Principal Component Analysis performed, evaluating trends in the physical-chemical parameters, highlighted the effect of the climate and rootstock on fruit quality by grape varieties.
As viticulture faces challenges such as climate change or vineyard dieback, the choice of the variety and rootstock becomes more and more crucial. To study rootstock levers in the Bordeaux region, a parcel of Cabernet Sauvignon (CS) was planted with four rootstocks in 2014. Twenty repetitions of each of the following four rootstocks were set up: 101-14 MGt, Nemadex AB, 420A MGt and Gravesac. The number of bunches, yields and pruning weights of the vine shoots were measured individually on 240 vines from 2017 to 2021. Since 2020, nitrogen status assessed by assimilable nitrogen level, hydric status assessed by δ13C and berry maturity were measured on 80 samples taken from 20 repetitions of the four rootstocks. A lower yield was measured for CS grafted onto Nemadex AB due to the lower number of bunches and the lower weight of berries. The differences between the other three rootstocks are small, but CS grafted onto 420A MGt was the most productive. The CS grafted onto Nemadex AB had the lowest pruning weight while 101-14 MGt had the highest. In 2020, δ13C showed a more moderate water stress with 101-14 MGt and 420A MGt than with Nemadex AB. Surprisingly, the Gravesac was under more stress than the 101-14 MGt. The nitrogen status in the berries was better for Nemadex AB but this was perhaps due to the significantly lower weight of the berries.Rootstock 101-14 MGt attained the highest accumulation of sugars in the berries while 420A MGt allows to preserve higher acidity. The parcel is still young which may explain some of the results. These measures must therefore be continued over the next several years to fully assess the effects of these rootstocks on the development of the vines and the quality of the production under new climatic conditions.
Among the different strategies to cope with the negative impacts of climate change on viticulture, the exploitation of genetic diversity is one of the most promising to adapt to new conditions and maintain wine production and quality. One of the biggest concerns in the context of climate change is to improve water use efficiency (WUE). In this way, the use of genotypes that present a better response to drought and high WUE is a key issue. In this work, physiological performance analysis was conducted to compare the water deficit stress (WDS) responses of local and widespread grapevines cultivars. Leaf gas exchange, water use efficiency (WUE) at different levels (leaf and long-term WUE (∆13C)), leaf osmotic adjustment and other water relations parameters were determined in plants under well-watered and WDS conditions alongside assessment of the levels of foliar hormones concentrations. Results denote that local cultivars displayed better physiological performance under WDS as compared to the widely-distributed ones. he results corroborate the hypothesis that better stomatal control allows increasing leaf WUE under drought as occurred in the local Callet cv.; but the minority local cultivar Escursac cv. showed high WUE under both treatments. In this case, high WUE can be related to maintaining higher photosynthetic activity under drought. The different mechanisms underlying the better performance under WDS and high WUE of minority local cultivars are discussed.
Climate change is challenging viticulture worldwide compromising its sustainability due to warmer temperatures and the increased frequency of extreme events. Grafting Vitis vinifera L.
The use of rootstocks tolerant to soil water deficit is an interesting strategy to cope with limited water availability. Currently, several nurseries are breeding new genotypes, but the physiological basis of its responses under water stress are largely unknown. To this end, an ecophysiological assessment of the conventional 110-Richter (110R) and SO4, and the new M1 and M4 rootstocks was carried out in potted ungrafted plants. During one season, these Vitis genotypes were grown under greenhouse conditions and subjected to two water regimes, well-watered and water deficit. Water potentials of plants under water deficit down to < -1.4 MPa, and net photosynthesis (AN) <5 μmol m-2 s-1 did not cause leaf oxidative stress damage compared to well-watered conditions in any of the genotypes. The antioxidant capacity was sufficient to neutralize the mild oxidative stress suffered. Under both treatments, gravimetric differences in daily water use were observed among genotypes, leading to differences in the biomass of root, shoot and leaf. Under well-watered conditions, SO4 and 110R were the most vigorous and M1 and M4 the least. However, under water stress, SO4 exhibited the greatest reduction in biomass while M4 showed the lowest. Remarkably, under these conditions, SO4 reached the least negative stem water potential (Ψstem), while M1 reduced stomatal conductance (gs) and AN the most. In addition, SO4 and M1 genotypes also showed the highest and lowest hydraulic conductance values, respectively. Our results suggest that there are differences in water use regulation among genotypes, not only attributed to differences in stomatal regulation or intrinsic water use efficiency at the leaf level. Therefore, because no differences in canopy-to-root ratio were achieved, it is hypothesized that xylem vessel anatomical differences may be driving the reported differences among rootstocks performance. Results demonstrate that each Vitis rootstock differs in its ecophysiological responses under water stress.
Stomatal traits determine grapevine water use, carbon supply, and water stress, which directly impact yield and berry chemistry. Breeding for stomatal traits has the strong potential to improve grapevine performance under future, drier conditions, but the trait values that breeders should target are unknown. We used a functional-structural plant model developed for grapevine (HydroShoot) to determine how stomatal traits impact canopy gas exchange, water potential, and temperature under historical and future conditions in high-quality and hot-climate California wine regions (Napa and the Central Valley). Historical climate (1990-2010) was collected from weather stations and future climate (2079-99) was projected from 4 representative climate models for California, assuming medium- and high-emissions (RCP 4.5 and 8.5). Five trait parameterizations, representing mean and extreme values for the maximum stomatal conductance (gmax) and leaf water potential threshold for stomatal closure (Ψsc), were defined from meta-analyses. Compared to mean trait values, the water-spending extremes (highest gmax or most negative Ysc) had negligible benefits for carbon gain and canopy cooling, but exacerbated vine water use and stress, for both sites and climate scenarios. These traits increased cumulative transpiration by 8 – 17%, changed cumulative carbon gain by -4 – 3%, and reduced minimum water potentials by 10 – 18%. Conversely, the water-saving extremes (lowest gmax or least negative Ψsc) strongly reduced water use and stress, but potentially compromised the carbon supply for ripening. Under RCP 8.5 conditions, these traits reduced transpiration by 22 – 35% and carbon gain by 9 – 16% and increased minimum water potentials by 20 – 28%, compared to mean values. Overall, selecting for more water-saving stomatal traits could improve water-use efficiency and avoid the detrimental effects of highly negative canopy water potentials on yield and quality, but more work is needed to evaluate whether these benefits outweigh the consequences of minor declines in carbon gain for fruit production.
With contemporary climate change, cultivated Vitis vinifera L. is at risk as climate is a critical component in defining ecologically fitted plant materiel. While winegrowers can draw on the rich diversity among grapevine varieties to limit expected impacts (Morales-Castilla et al., 2020), replacing a signature variety that has created a sense of local distinctiveness may lead to several challenges. In order to sustain wine identity in uncertain climate outcomes, the study of intra-varietal diversity is important to reflect the adaptive and evolutionary potential of current cultivated varieties. The aim of this ongoing study is to understand to what extent can intra-varietal diversity be a climate change adaptation solution. With a focus on early (Sauvignon blanc, Riesling, Grolleau, Pinot noir) to moderate late (Chenin, Petit Verdot, Cabernet franc) ripening varieties, data was collected for flowering and veraison for the various studied accessions (from conservatory plots) and clones. For these phenological growing stages, heat requirements were established using nearby weather stations (adapted from the GFV model, Parker et al., 2013) and model performances were verified. Climate change projections were then integrated to predict the future behaviour of the intra-varietal diversity. Study findings highlight the strong phenotypic diversity of studied varieties and the importance of diversification to enhance climate change resilience. While model performances may require improvements, this study is the first step towards quantifying heat requirements of different clones and how they can provide adaptation solutions for winegrowers to sustain local wine identity in a global changing climate. As genetic diversity is an ongoing process through point mutations and epigenetic adaptations, perspective work is to explore clonal data from a wide variety of geographic locations.
The purpose of this study is to examine the changing mix of winegrape varieties in Australia so as to address the question: In the light of key climate indicators and predictions of further climate change, how appropriate are the grape varieties currently planted in Australia’s wine regions? To achieve this, regions are classified into zones according to each region’s climate variables, particularly average growing season temperature (GST), leaving aside within-region variations in climates. Five different climatic classifications are reported. Using projections of GSTs for the mid- and late 21st century, the extent to which each region is projected to move from its current zone classification to a warmer one is reported. Also shown is the changing proportion of each of 21 key varieties grown in a GST zone considered to be optimal for premium winegrape production. Together these indicators strengthen earlier suggestions that the mix of varieties may be currently less than ideal in many Australian wine regions, and would become even less so in coming decades if that mix was not altered in the anticipation of climate change. That is, grape varieties in many (especially the warmest) regions will have to keep changing, or wineries will have to seek fruit from higher latitudes or elevations if they wish to retain their current mix of varieties and wine styles.
Water is the main limiting factor for yield in viticulture. Improving drought adaptation in viticulture will be an increasingly important issue under climate change. Genetic variability of water deficit responses in grapevine partly results from the rootstocks, making them an attractive and relevant mean to achieve adaptation without changing the scion genotype. The objective of this work was to characterize the rootstock effect on the diurnal regulation of scion transpiration. A large panel of 55 commercial genotypes were grafted onto Cabernet Sauvignon. Three biological repetitions per genotype were analyzed. Potted plants were phenotyped on a greenhouse balance platform capable of assessing real-time water use and maintaining a targeted water deficit intensity. After a 10 days well-watered baseline period, an increasing water deficit was applied for 10 days, followed by a stable water deficit stress for 7 days. Pruning weight, root and aerial dry weight and transpiration were recorded and the experiment was repeated during two years. Transpiration efficiency (ratio between aerial biomass and transpiration) was calculated and δ13C was measured in leaves for the baseline and stable water deficit periods. A large genetic variability was observed within the panel. The rootstock had a significant impact on nocturnal transpiration which was also strongly and positively correlated with maximum daytime transpiration. The correlations with growth and water use efficiency related traits will be discussed. Transpiration data were also related with VPD and soil water content demonstrating the influence of environmental conditions on transpiration. These results highlighted the role of the rootstock in modulating water deficit responses and give insights for rootstock breeding programs aimed at identifying drought tolerant rootstocks. It was also helpful to better define the mechanisms on which the drought tolerance in grapevine rootstocks is based on.
Water deficit differentially impacts the performances and the accumulation of grape metabolites of new varieties tolerant to fungi
The use of resistant varieties is a long-term but promising solution to reduce chemical input in viticulture. Several important breeding programs in Europe and abroad are now releasing a range of new hybrids performing well regarding fungi susceptibility and producing good quality wines. Unfortunately, insufficient attention is paid by the breeders to the adaptation of these varieties to climatic changes, notably to the increased climatic demand and water deficit (WD). Thus, prior to the adoption of such varieties by the wine industry in Mediterranean regions, there is a need to consider their suitability to WD. This study aimed to characterize the different drought-strategies adopted by 6 new resistant varieties selected by INRAE in comparison to Syrah. To allow the assessment of long-term impacts of WD, field-grown vines were exposed to contrasted WD from 2018 to 2021 under a semi-arid Mediterranean climate. A gradient of WD was applied in the field and controlled through plant measurements at the single plant level. Grape development was non-destructively monitored to determine the arrest of berry phloem unloading. The impacts of WD on berry composition, including water, primary metabolites (sugars, organic acids), secondary metabolites (anthocyanins, thiols precursors) and main cations contents, were assessed at this specific stage. Results showed different varietal responses during the year and inter-annual acclimation in terms of plant water use efficiency, biomass accumulation, as well as yield components and berry composition. WD differentially reduced the accumulation of primary metabolites at plant and berry levels, but it little changed their concentrations in the fruits at the ripe stage. Moreover, WD differentially impacted the accumulation of secondary metabolites and major cations between the varieties. In the talk, we’ll present the main results regarding the WD impacts on fruit metabolites and enlarge the reflection about the practical assessment of the grapevine acclimation to WD.