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I Garrido, D Uriarte, M Hernández, JL Llerena, ME Valdés and F Espinosa
A study was made of how water status (rainfed vs. irrigated) and crop load (no cluster thinning vs. cluster thinning) can together affect the grapes of Vitis vinifera cv. Tempranillo vines growing in a semiarid zone of Extremadura (Spain). The grapes were monitored at different stages of ripening, measuring the peroxidase (POX) and superoxide dismutase (SOD) antioxidant activities and the phenolic content (flavonoids and phenylpropanoids), together with other parameters. The irrigation regime was adjusted to provide 100% of crop evapotranspiration (ETc). The findings confirmed previous results that both thinning and water deficit advance ripening, while irrigation and high crop load (no thinning) lengthen the growth cycle. The SOD activity remained practically constant throughout ripening in the thinned treatments and was always lower than in the unthinned treatments, an aspect which could have been the cause of the observed greater level of lipid peroxidation in the water deficit, thinned treatment. The nonspecific peroxidase activity was very low, especially in the thinned treatments. The effect of thinning was enhanced when combined with water deficit, inducing increases in phenylpropanoids and, above all, flavonoids at the harvest stage of ripening, while leaving the polyphenol oxidase activity (PPO) unaffected.
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Vitaceae, Annual growth cycle of grapevines, Vitis, Superoxide dismutase, Viticulture, Grape, Vitis vinifera, Antioxidant
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