Aims: The objective was to better understand the mechanisms involved in grape ripening that brings about important changes in the physiology and chemistry of the fruit. So we focused on the involvement of two growth regulators: abscisic acid (ABA) and indol-acetic acid (IAA) in controlling grape berry ripening process.
Methods and results: We described the evolution of the two plant growth regulators during the development of cv. Merlot grapes (Vitis vinifera L.). In order to better understand the role of ABA and IAA in the ripening control, these two growth regulators were applied on the grapes at the onset of veraison. The hormonal profile was established on treated berries and different physiological parameters were assayed to evaluate the effects of both applications. The partitioning of both plant growth regulators in nontreated berries showed that ABA and IAA accumulated at the onset of ripening. Moreover, it appeared that endogenous ABA decreased progressively in the flesh while accumulated in the skin from the beginning of the colour change to maturity. The hormonal treatments modified the hormonal profile and several physiological parameters: sugar, acidity, colour, and Botrytis sensibility.
Conclusion: These findings suggest that both treatments have modified the ripening process. Exogenous ABA has induced advancement in grape ripening, while IAA application has delayed this process. These observations support the view that the grape ripening process may be influenced by the hormonal status.
Significance and impact of study: This study gives new information about the ripening control of the non-climacteric fruits. In grape berries, it provides evidence of a possible co-involvement of ABA and IAA in controlling ripening process.
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