Understanding Differential Responses of Grapevine (Vitis vinifera L.) Leaf and Fruit to Water Stress and Recovery Following Re-Watering


Among all fruit crops of horticultural importance, grapevines (Vitis vinifera L.) stand out as the most drought tolerant crop species whose tolerance is credited to their proficiency to recover from water stress in both the natural and vineyard growing conditions. However, information on the recovery responses is relatively scant. Studies were conducted to address this issue using potted vines of the grapevine cultivar, Cabernet Sauvignon, which was subjected to water stress and along with anatomical and ultrastructural characterizations, physiological status was assessed in healthy and water stressed vines, and following recovery via rewatering from the water stressed vines. Water stress induced wilting of leaves, drooping of tendrils, and desiccation followed by abscission of shoot tip leaving behind a brown scar at the shoot apex. The wilted leaves accumulated ABA, which correspondingly reduced stomatal conductance and leaf water potential. Upon re-watering, both these parameters made a recovery with values similar to healthy leaves. Likewise, leaf anatomical features following rewatering resembled to that of healthy leaves. In clusters, water stress caused shriveling of preveraison (unripened) berries, which regained full turgor following water resupply, whereas the postveraison (ripening) berries in the same cluster remained unaffected as evidenced by the presence of viable mesocarp cells and epicuticular wax in the form of platelets. The study revealed that shoot tip with leaf primordia was most sensitive to water stress followed by fully expanded leaves and preveraison berries, whereas the postveraison berries remained unaffected. This information could be valuable to implementing irrigation strategies towards sustaining grape production in existing vineyards experiencing episodic droughts and targeted areas prone to drought.

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B. Bondada and J. Shutthanandan, "Understanding Differential Responses of Grapevine (Vitis vinifera L.) Leaf and Fruit to Water Stress and Recovery Following Re-Watering," American Journal of Plant Sciences, Vol. 3 No. 9, 2012, pp. 1232-1240. doi: 10.4236/ajps.2012.39149.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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