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Concept: Grape


Wine grapes present a unique biogeography model, wherein microbial biodiversity patterns across viticultural zones not only answer questions of dispersal and community maintenance, they are also an inherent component of the quality, consumer acceptance, and economic appreciation of a culturally important food product. On their journey from the vineyard to the wine bottle, grapes are transformed to wine through microbial activity, with indisputable consequences for wine quality parameters. Wine grapes harbor a wide range of microbes originating from the surrounding environment, many of which are recognized for their role in grapevine health and wine quality. However, determinants of regional wine characteristics have not been identified, but are frequently assumed to stem from viticultural or geological factors alone. This study used a high-throughput, short-amplicon sequencing approach to demonstrate that regional, site-specific, and grape-variety factors shape the fungal and bacterial consortia inhabiting wine-grape surfaces. Furthermore, these microbial assemblages are correlated to specific climatic features, suggesting a link between vineyard environmental conditions and microbial inhabitation patterns. Taken together, these factors shape the unique microbial inputs to regional wine fermentations, posing the existence of nonrandom “microbial terroir” as a determining factor in regional variation among wine grapes.

Concepts: Bacteria, Biotechnology, Vitis vinifera, Wine, Grape, Vitis, Viticulture, Terroir


Climate change is expected to impact ecosystems directly, such as through shifting climatic controls on species ranges, and indirectly, for example through changes in human land use that may result in habitat loss. Shifting patterns of agricultural production in response to climate change have received little attention as a potential impact pathway for ecosystems. Wine grape production provides a good test case for measuring indirect impacts mediated by changes in agriculture, because viticulture is sensitive to climate and is concentrated in Mediterranean climate regions that are global biodiversity hotspots. Here we demonstrate that, on a global scale, the impacts of climate change on viticultural suitability are substantial, leading to possible conservation conflicts in land use and freshwater ecosystems. Area suitable for viticulture decreases 25% to 73% in major wine producing regions by 2050 in the higher RCP 8.5 concentration pathway and 19% to 62% in the lower RCP 4.5. Climate change may cause establishment of vineyards at higher elevations that will increase impacts on upland ecosystems and may lead to conversion of natural vegetation as production shifts to higher latitudes in areas such as western North America. Attempts to maintain wine grape productivity and quality in the face of warming may be associated with increased water use for irrigation and to cool grapes through misting or sprinkling, creating potential for freshwater conservation impacts. Agricultural adaptation and conservation efforts are needed that anticipate these multiple possible indirect effects.

Concepts: Biodiversity, Climate, Vitis vinifera, Wine, Mediterranean climate, Grape, Viticulture


Vitis vinifera scions are commonly grafted onto rootstocks of other grape species to influence scion vigour and provide resistance to soil-borne pests and abiotic stress; however, the mechanisms by which rootstocks affect scion physiology remain unknown. This study characterized the hydraulic physiology of Vitis rootstocks that vary in vigour classification by investigating aquaporin (VvPIP) gene expression, fine-root hydraulic conductivity (Lp®), % aquaporin contribution to Lp®, scion transpiration, and the size of root systems. Expression of several VvPIP genes was consistently greater in higher-vigour rootstocks under favourable growing conditions in a variety of media and in root tips compared to mature fine roots. Similar to VvPIP expression patterns, fine-root Lp® and % aquaporin contribution to Lp® determined under both osmotic (Lp®(Osm)) and hydrostatic (Lp®(Hyd)) pressure gradients were consistently greater in high-vigour rootstocks. Interestingly, the % aquaporin contribution was nearly identical for Lp®(Osm) and Lp®(Hyd) even though a hydrostatic gradient would induce a predominant flow across the apoplastic pathway. In common scion greenhouse experiments, leaf area-specific transpiration (E) and total leaf area increased with rootstock vigour and were positively correlated with fine-root Lp®. These results suggest that increased canopy water demands for scion grafted onto high-vigour rootstocks are matched by adjustments in root-system hydraulic conductivity through the combination of fine-root Lp® and increased root surface area.

Concepts: Gene, Grafting, Root, Plant reproduction, Grape, Viticulture, Phylloxera, Rootstock


BACKGROUND: Resveratrol is an important stilbene that benefits human health. However, it is only distributed in a few species including grape and is very expensive. At present, grape has been an important source resveratrol. However, the details are scarce on resveratrol distribution in different Vitis species or cultivars. METHODOLOGYPRINCIPAL FINDING: The composition and content of resveratrols were investigated by HPLC for assessing genotypic variation in berry skins and leaves of 75 grape cultivars, belonging to 3 species and 7 interspecific hybrids. Trans-resveratrol, cis-piceid and trans-piceid were detected in berry skins and leaves, but cis-resveratrol was not. Resveratrol content largely varied with genetic background as well as usage. In most cultivars, total resveratrol including the above three compounds was higher in berry skins than leaves. In berry skins of most cultivars and leaves of almost all cultivars, cis-piceid was the most abundant resveratrol; trans-resveratrol and trans-piceid were minor components. Some specific cultivars were found with extremely high levels of trans-resveratrol, cis- piceid, trans-piceid or total resveratrols in berry skins or leaves. In skins and leaves, rootstock cultivars had a higher content of total resveratrols, and the cultivated European type cultivars and their hybrids with V. labrusca had relatively low totals. There were no significant correlations of the amounts of total resveratrols or any individual resveratrol between berry skins and leaves. All 75 cultivars can be divided into four groups based on the composition of resveratrols and their concentration by principal component analysis. CONCLUSION: Resveratrol content of grape berries and leaves varied largely with their genetic background and usage. Rootstock cultivars had a higher content of total resveratrols than the other germplasm. Total resveratrols were lower in leaves than berry skins in most cultivars. Cis-piceid was the most abundant resveratrol in most cultivars, and trans-res and trans-pd were minor components.

Concepts: Vitis vinifera, Resveratrol, Grape, Vitis, Vitaceae, Vitis riparia, Vitis labrusca, Muscadine


Endophytes proved to exert multiple effects on host plants, including growth promotion, stress resistance. However, whether endophytes have a role in metabolites shaping of grape has not been fully understood. Eight endophytic fungal strains which originally isolated from grapevines were re-inoculated to field-grown grapevines in this study, and their effects on both leaves and berries of grapevines at maturity stage were assessed, with special focused on secondary metabolites and antioxidant activities. High-density inoculation of all these endophytic fungal strains modified the physio-chemical status of grapevine to different degrees. Fungal inoculations promoted the content of reducing sugar (RS), total flavonoids (TF), total phenols (TPh), trans-resveratrol (Res) and activities of phenylalanine ammonia-lyase (PAL), in both leaves and berries of grapevine. Inoculation of endophytic fungal strains, CXB-11 (Nigrospora sp.) and CXC-13 (Fusarium sp.) conferred greater promotion effects in grape metabolic re-shaping, compared to other used fungal strains. Additionally, inoculation of different strains of fungal endophytes led to establish different metabolites patterns of wine grape. The work implies the possibility of using endophytic fungi as fine-tuning regulator to shape the quality and character of wine grape.

Concepts: Fungus, Vitis vinifera, Grape, Vitis, Vitaceae, Vitis riparia, Endophyte, Muscadine


A multiresidue analytical method was developed for grapes for the following 24 plant growth regulators: 1-naphthylacetamide, 2,3,5-triiodobenzoic acid, 2,4,5-T, 2-naphthoxyacetic acid, 3-indolylacetic acid, 4-(3-indolyl)-butyric acid, 4-chlorophenoxyacetic acid, 4-nitrophenol, 6-benzylaminopurine, N6-isopentenyladenine, butralin, chlormequat chloride, chlorphonim-Cl, cloprop, forchlorfenuron, gibberellic acid 3, gibberellic acid 4, gibberellic acid 7, inabenfide, mepiquat chloride, paclobutrazol, prohydrojasmon, thidiazuron and uniconizole-P. The compounds were extracted from grape samples using an extraction method modified from the Quick, Easy, Cheap, Effective, Rugged and Safe (QuEChERS) method. Liquid chromatography - tandem mass spectrometry was used for the detection and quantification of the compounds. Validation of the method was performed by using recovery studies at both intra-day and inter-day intervals, as well as by evaluation of the matrix effect, limit of quantification, trueness and precision. We used matrix-matched calibrations for the quantification of the compounds, which all resulted in determination coefficients (r2) higher than 0.995. The limit of quantification ranged from 0.1 to 5 ng/mL. Recovery studies using three spiking concentrations at varying levels showed recoveries of 70.2-112.6% and 67.5-101.8% at intra-day and inter-day intervals, respectively. Relative standard deviations were below 20% for the recovery studies. The extraction method were further validated by performing recovery study and matrix effect test in six different grape varieties from Taiwan and the United States and all resulted in comparable results. Application of the established method to 50 grape samples, resulted in the detection of chlormequat chloride and forchlorfenuron residues in the tested grapes. The results of the method validation and real sample analysis shows the extraction method is therefore suitable for routine monitoring of residue in grapes.

Concepts: Mass spectrometry, Analytical chemistry, Vitis vinifera, Gibberellin, Extraction, Grape, Gibberellic acid, 6-Benzylaminopurine


Deaths from choking are a major cause of childhood mortality, especially in the very young. Whole grapes are ideally suited to cause paediatric airway obstruction and, though regularly implicated, knowledge that this popular fruit, and other similarly shaped foods, is a choking hazard is not widespread. We present the cases of three children who presented to our institution after grape aspiration. Increased dissemination of the learning points among health professionals working with children may aid in the prevention of further episodes.

Concepts: Fruit, Youth, Wine, Grape, Berry, Blackcurrant


Daily consumption of Concord grape juice (CGJ) over 3-4 mo has been shown to improve memory function in adults with mild cognitive impairment and reduce blood pressure in hypertensive adults. These benefits likely result from the high concentration of polyphenols in CGJ. Increased stress can impair cognitive function and elevate blood pressure. Thus, we examined the potential beneficial effect of CGJ in individuals with somewhat stressful and demanding lifestyles.

Concepts: Psychology, Cognitive psychology, Cognition, Memory, Cognitive neuroscience, Wine, Grape, Concord


Winter chilling is critical for flowering and fruiting of many temperate fruits, with evidence that blackcurrant (Ribes nigrum L.) cropping has been adversely affected by warm winters. Accurate models of chill accumulation in blackcurrant are required so that breeding strategies can be formulated for the generation of new cultivars with resilience to future climates. Existing models for chill accumulation have largely been derived from statistical correlation; here we report the derivation of improved models for blackcurrant using controlled environment treatments. Hardwood cuttings from a diverse set of cultivars were exposed to constant or varying chilling temperatures and the effects on bud break after transfer to a warm, permissive environment evaluated. The impact of different combinations of temperature and chilling periods were described in terms of their overall ‘Effectiveness’ (E). Clear genotypic differences were found, with excessive chilling often inhibiting bud break. There was a significant interaction between observed chilling response and the period of low temperature exposure. A number of chilling models to explain observed interactions between chilling temperature and time of exposure on bud break were compared; the most effective involved an optimal response to increasing chill accumulation. The effects of varying temperatures during chilling on bud break were complex, with warm temperature breaks substantially inhibiting bud development and cooler temperature breaks tending to enhance bud burst. The relevance of these models to generic studies of endodormancy is discussed, together with their potential application to the development of phenotyping screens for future breeding using diverse blackcurrant germplasm.

Concepts: Effect, Effectiveness, Thermodynamics, Fruit, Grape, Blackcurrant, Redcurrant, Ribes


Thrombin is a serine protease that cleaves the peptide bonds in proteins located on the carboxyl side of arginine. Thrombin plays a central role in thromboembolic diseases, which are the major cause of mortality. The aim of the study was to estimate the effects of plant extracts on proteolytic properties of thrombin. Thrombin was incubated with polyphenol-rich extracts from berries of Aronia melanocarpa or seeds of Vitis vinifera (0.5, 5, 50 µg/mL) and with polyphenols ((+)-catechin, (-)-epicatechin, gallic acid, chlorogenic acid, procyanidin B1, cyanidin, cyanidin 3-glucoside, quercetin). The in vitro experiments showed that both extracts in all used concentrations inhibited proteolytic activity of thrombin observed as inhibition of thrombin-induced fibrinogen polymerization, stabilized fibrin formation, and platelet aggregation. Moreover, thrombin amidolytic activity was inhibited by polyphenols belonging to the flavonoid class. Results presented in this study indicate that polyphenol-rich extracts from berries of A. melanocarpa and seeds of V. vinifera may become promising dietary supplements in the prevention of thrombotic states. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Concepts: Protein, Amino acid, Coagulation, Fibrin, Platelet, Protease, Grape, Aronia