Aims: The responses of two Vitis vinifera cultivars (Cardinal and Superior Seedless) and two rootstocks (110R and SO4) to drought, the effect of grafting and the interactions of scion/rootstock were investigated.
Methods and results: The vines were subjected to a progressive water stress in greenhouse controlled conditions. At the end of the water stress treatments, physiological analyses were carried out (stem water potential, dry matter production, soluble sugars, proline as well as ions Na+ and K+). Drought was expressed by the drop of the stem water potential in the stressed vines as compared to their controls. Furthermore, tolerance and sensitivity were linked to the accumulation of soluble sugars and proline as well as the equilibrium of K+ and Na+ in the leaves.
Conclusion: When ungrafted, Cardinal was more tolerant to water stress than Superior Seedless. The grafted vines exhibited more vigour, moreover, the combination of Cardinal with SO4 and Superior Seedless with 110R revealed to be the advantageous associations under water stress.
Significance and impact of study: This work has been carried out to investigate the differential responses of grapevine cultivars to drought stress and the impact of grafting under water shortage conditions.
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