DDD Conference

2. Dr. Vasileios Fotopoulos

Elucidation of Water Deficit Effects on ‘Xynisteri’ Grapes through Systems Biology Approaches

Cyprus University of Technology, Cyprus

Cyprus is one of the very few phyloxera-free areas worldwide where the vast majority of vines are own-rooted and non-irrigated. ‘Xynisteri’ is a predominant indigenous cultivar, particularly amenable to extreme conditions such as drought and hot climate, thus rendering it appropriate for marginal soils and adverse climatic conditions. In the current work, a comparative study between irrigated (irrigation initiated at BBCH 71) and non-irrigated 6-year Cordon-trained vines was conducted. An array of physiological (water potential, leaf water content, stomatal conductance, chlorophyll content), biochemical and qualitative indices were monitored during successive developmental stages (BBCH-75, 85, 87, 89). Harvested grapes were additionally monitored for their aroma profile with the employment of GC-MS, while must was analyzed using micro-FT-NIR and E-nose techniques. Physiological parameters of leaves were severely affected from drought stress; stomatal conductance registered exceptionally low values at non-irrigated vines. Non-irrigated berries were characterized by higher total soluble content and Ripening Index (TSS/TA), while titratable acidity (TA) and pH registered lower values. In addition, molecular signatures were mapped in grapes using RNA-sequencing which lead to the identification of a number of key transcripts involved in the response. The effect of irrigation on secondary metabolism with special reference to volatile organic compounds is discussed.

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