DDD Conference

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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