Original research articles

Study of sugar phloem unloading in ripening grape berries under water stress conditions


Sugar phloem unloading in ripening grape berries (Vitis vinifera L. cv. Syrah) was studied under water stress conditions using the «beny-cup» technique. After veraison, berry growth, the potential Exposed Leaf Area (pELA) and photosynthetic activity are clearly reduced in water-stressed vines (- 0.5 > Ψb > - 0.6 MPa) as compared to normal 1 Ψ-watcred vines (Mb = - 0.2 MPa). The ratio pELA/yield is also reduced, which is particular to this experiment. The beiries' ripening period (between veraison and maturity) can be divided into three growth phases, Illa, Illb and IIlc. During phase Ma, the berries grow rapidly; at this point, water stress severely inhibits cell expan¬ sion of the berries but does not impact on daily sugar accumulation. During phase Mb, the berries grow slowly in both water-stressed and control vines. Water stress can shorten this phase and reduce sugar accumulation in the berries by decreasing daily sugar unloading. During phase II le, the Iresh weight and volume of the berries decreases as does the daily sugar unloading. During the day, sugar unloading in ripening berries occurs mainly in the morning (7 am to 10.30 am) and at noon (1 to 1.30 pm); little sugar is unloaded in the afternoon (4 pm to 4.30 pin). Moderate water stress from veraison to maturity affects végétative growth (i.e. the growth of primary and secoridary shoots), and reduces the exposed leaf area, photosynthetic activity, berry growth, and the accumulation of sugar at the end of ripening (phases Mb and IIlc).


Zenphing Wang

Affiliation : AGRO-Montpellier, UMR 1083 Sciences Pour l’OEnologie et la Viticulture, 2 place Pierre Viala, 34060 Montpellier cedex 1, France

Alain Deloire


Affiliation : Stellenbosch University, Department of Viticulture and Oenology, Private Bag X1, Matieland 7602, South Africa; NWGIC, Charles Sturt University, Boorooma Street, Wagga Wagga, NSW, Australia, 2650

Alain Carbonneau

Affiliation : Viticulture-OEnologie, Agro de Montpellier, 2 place Viala, Montpellier, France

B. Federspiel

Affiliation : Unité Mixte de Recherche 1083 Sciences pour L'oenologie et la viticulture, AGRO Montpellier, 2 place Viala, 34060 Montpellier, France

François López

Affiliation : Chaire de Viticulture et d'OEnologie, AGRO Montpellier, 2 place P. Viala, 34060 Montpellier cedex, France


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