DDD Conference

Mr. Yaniv Lupo

Desert Viticulture: Salinity Tolerance of Rootstocks

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel


Arid areas provide adequate environmental conditions for viticulture when combined with sufficient irrigation. However, in those regions, the shortage of good quality irrigation water, sometimes combined with saline soil, presents complex difficulties for viticulture. The leading solution to cope with those adverse environmental conditions is grafting desirable varieties on stress-tolerant rootstocks. Therefore, it is essential to understand the rootstocks’ salt tolerance mechanisms and find environment-specific rootstock-scion combinations. To do so, we conducted controlled net house experiments (non-grafted rootstocks) and a field experiment (rootstocks grafted with the Syrah wine variety) in Israel’s Negev desert. We examined the response of two rootstocks (Paulsen and SO4) to long exposure to different combinations of irrigation levels and irrigation salt concentrations. SO4 showed better salt exclusion capacity from its roots and shoot. SO4 also had a more plastic response to salinity by reducing root diameter and increasing the root system surface area. The field experiment is currently ongoing and the rootstocks’ response to perennial salt stress is being examined.

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