Grape berry ripening is characterised by numerous metabolic and physiological changes, placed under hormonal control. The phytohormone abscisic acid (ABA) is considered as a possible promoter of « véraison », since it accumulates at this time. In order to evaluate its impact, we assess the effect of ABA on several parameters of maturity: anthocyanins synthesis, phenylalanine ammonia-lyase activity, sugar contents, acidity and maturity index, both in untreated berry skin and in skin of berries submitted to applications of exogenous ABA. The maturation processes we focused on appear ABA-dependent, as they occured immediately after ABA accumulation in the skin. Treatment also shows a close relationship between ABA and the beginning of ripening. These results allow us to conclude that ABA content could modulate the triggering of « véraison ».
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