Grapevine’s response to water stress

by | Jan 30, 2018 | South Africa Wine Scan

New Winetech funded project 2018 – This study is based on unanswered or novel questions regarding water stress and the managing of irrigation to avoid unacceptable levels of stress that would have negative impacts on yield and quality.

Both grapevine scion cultivars and rootstock varieties differ in their tolerance and response to limited water supplies. The reaction of a grafted vine to water stress cannot necessarily be predicted from the scion and rootstock varieties’ individual reactions.

This focus of this research project is to compare the molecular/metabolic stress fingerprints of grapevine scion-rootstock combinations undergoing defined water stress. The main objective would be to characterise the differences in water management/acclimation potential of the different plant materials to water stress.

This new project will tie into an existing Winetech funded project where researchers are evaluating a number of different scion-rootstock combinations and its effect on grapevine water status. In the existing project, morphological phenotypes and plant performances of the plants under the different water regimes are measured. The new project will additionally perform plant/berry analysis to determine what the grapevine’s biological reactions are in response to water stress. It can provide insight into the mechanisms used by different varieties to acclimatise to stress.

This project is a collaboration between the Department of Soil Science and the Department of Viticulture and Oenology at Stellenbosch University.

Researcher: Melané Vivier

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