, Volume 192, Issue 4, pp 567–573

Retranslocation of carbon reserves from the woody storage tissues into the fruit as a response to defoliation stress during the ripening period in Vitis vinifera L.

  • M. Carmo Candolfi-Vasconcelos
  • Marco P. Candolfi
  • Werner Kohlet


A technique for reliable labeling of the carbon reserves of the trunk and roots without labeling the current year's growth of grapevines was developed in order to study retranslocation of carbon from the perennial storage tissues into the fruit in response to defoliation stress during the ripening period. A special training system with two shoots was used: the lower one (feeding shoot) was cut back and defoliated to one single leaf (14CO2-feeding leaf) while the other (main shoot) was topped to 12 leaves. The potted plants were placed in a water bath at 30 °C to increase root temperature and therefore their sink activity. Additionally, a cold barrier (2–4 °C) was installed at the base of the main shoot to inhibit acropetal 14C translocation. Using this method, we were able to direct labeled assimilates to trunk and roots in preference to the current year's growth. On vines with root and shoot at ambient temperature, 44% of the 14C activity was found in the main shoot 16 h after feeding whereas only 2% was found in the temperature-treated vines. At the onset of fruit ripening, and at three-week intervals thereafter until harvest, potted grapevines were fed with 14CO2 using the temperature treatment described above. Sixteen hours after feeding, half of the vines of each group were defoliated by removing all except the two uppermost main leaves. Three weeks after each treatment, vines were destructively harvested and the dry weight and 14C incorporation determined for all plant parts. Under non-stressing conditions, there was no retranslocation of carbon reserves to support fruit maturation. Vines responded to defoliation stress by altering the natural translocation pattern and directing carbon stored in the lower parts to the fruit. In the three weeks following veraison (the inception of ripening in the grape berry), 12% of the labeled carbon reserves was translocated to the fruit of defoliated plants compared to 1.6% found in the clusters of control vines. Retranslocation from trunk and roots was highest during the middle of the ripening period, when 32% of the labeled carbon was found in the fruit compared to 0.7% in control plants. Defoliation during this period also caused major changes in dry-matter partitioning: the fruit represented 31% of total plant biomass compared to 21% measured in the control vines. Root growth was reduced by defoliation at veraison and during the ripening period. Defoliation three weeks before harvest did not affect dry matter or 14C partitioning.

Key words

Carbon reserve Carbon partitioning Sink activity Translocation (carbon reserves) Vitis 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Alleweldt, G. (1977) Wachstum und Reife der Weinbeere. Z. Pflanzenernährung Bodenkunde 140, 25–34Google Scholar
  2. Balthazard, J. (1978) Relationships between berry ripening and seed maturation of grape. In: Proc. 2nd Int. Symp. on Grapevine breeding, pp. 69–74, Bordeaux, France, June 14–18, 1977. Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, Paris, FranceGoogle Scholar
  3. Candolfi-Vasconcelos, M.C., Koblet, W. (1990) Yield, fruit quality, bud fertility and starch reserves of the wood as a function of leaf removal in Vitis vinifera. Evidence of compensation and stress recovering. Vitis 29, 199–221Google Scholar
  4. Candolfi-Vasconcelos, M.C., Koblet, W. (1991) Influence of partial defoliation on gas exchange parameters and chlorophyll content of field-grown grapevines. Mechanisms and limitations of the compensation capacity. Vitis 30, 129–141Google Scholar
  5. Candolfi-Vasconcelos, M.C., Koblet, W., Howell, G.S. (1994) Influence of defoliation, rootstock, and training system on gas exchange of Pinot noir grapevines. Am. J. Enol. Vitic. 45, in pressGoogle Scholar
  6. Coombe, B.G. (1973) The regulation of set and development of the grape berry. Acta Hortic. 34, 261–273Google Scholar
  7. Coombe, B.G. (1976) Abscisic acid and sugar accumulation in grape berry. In: 9th Int. Conference on plant growth substances, pp. 62–64, Pilet, E., ed. Lausanne, SwitzerlandGoogle Scholar
  8. Coombe, B.G. (1989) The grape berry as a sink. Acta Hort. 239, 149–158Google Scholar
  9. Coombe, B.G., Bishop, G.R. (1980) Development of the grape berry. II. Changes in diameter and deformability during veraison. Aust. J. Agric. Res. 31, 499–509Google Scholar
  10. Coombe, B.G., Hale, C.R. (1973) The hormone content of ripening grape berries and effects of growth substance treatments. Plant Physiol. 51, 629–634Google Scholar
  11. Coombe, B.G., Phillips, P.E. (1980) Development of the grape berry. III. Compositional changes during veraison measured by sequential hypodermic sampling. In: Proc. Int. Symp. on Grape and wine, pp. 132–136, Davis, California, June, 1980Google Scholar
  12. Düring, H. (1974) Abscisic acid in ripening grape berries. Vitis 13, 112–119Google Scholar
  13. Geiger, D.R. (1979) Control of partitioning and export of carbon in leaves of higher plants. Bot. Gaz. 140, 241–248Google Scholar
  14. Geiger, D.R., Fondy, B.R. (1991) Regulation of carbon allocation and partitioning: status and research agenda. In: Response of plants to multiple stresses, pp. 1–9, Mooney, H.A., Winner, W., Pell, E.J., eds. Academic Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  15. Hale, C.R., Weaver, R.J. (1962) The effect of developmental stage on direction of translocation of photosynthate in Vitis vinifera. Hilgardia 33, 89–141Google Scholar
  16. Hawker, J.S. (1969) Changes in the activities of enzymes concerned with sugar metabolism during the development of grape berries. Phytochemistry 8, 9–17Google Scholar
  17. Ho, L.C. (1988) Metabolism and compartmentation of imported sugars in sink organs in relation to sink strength. Annu. Rev. Plant Physiol. Plant Mol. Biol. 39, 355–378Google Scholar
  18. Ho, L.C., Lecharny, A., Willenbrink, J. (1991) Sucrose cleavage in relation to import and metabolism of sugars in sink organs. In: Response of plants to multiple stresses, pp. 178–186, Mooney, H.A., Winner, W., Pell, E.J., eds. Academic Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  19. Hori, Y, Shishido, Y (1978) The effects of feeding time and night temperature on the translocation and distribution of 14-C-assimilates in tomato plants. Acta Hortic. 87, 225–233Google Scholar
  20. Hori, Y, Shishido, Y (1980) Studies on translocation and distribution of photosynthetic assimilates in tomato plants. IV. Retranslocation of 14C-assimilates once translocated into the roots. Tohoku J. Agric. Res. 31, 131–140Google Scholar
  21. Hunter, J.J., Visser, J.H. (1988a) Distribution of 14C-photosynthetate in the shoot of Vitis vinifera L. cv. Cabernet Sauvignon. I. The effect of leaf position and developmental stage of the vine. S. Afr. J. Enol. Vitic. 9, 3–15Google Scholar
  22. Hunter, J.J., Visser, J.H. (1988b) Distribution of 14C-photosynthetate in the shoot of Vitis vinifera L. cv. Cabernet Sauvignon. II. The effect of partial defoliation. S. Afr. J. Enol. Vitic. 9, 10–15Google Scholar
  23. Kliewer, W.M., Antcliff, A.J. (1970) Influence of defoliation, leaf darkening and cluster shading on the growth and composition of Sultana grapes. Am. J. Enol. Vitic. 21, 26–36Google Scholar
  24. Koblet, W. (1969) Translocation of photosynthate in vine shoots and influence of leaf area on quantity and quality of the grapes. Wein-Wiss. 24, 277–319Google Scholar
  25. Koblet, W. (1975) Wanderung von Assimilaten aus verschiedenen Rebenblättern während der Reifephase der Trauben. Wein-Wiss. 30, 241–249Google Scholar
  26. Koblet, W., Perret, P. (1972) Wanderung von Assimilaten innerhalb der Rebe. Wein-Wiss. 2, 146–154Google Scholar
  27. Koblet, W., Perret, P. (1979) Translocation of photosynthate in grapevines. Vinifera Wine Growers J. 6, 211–218Google Scholar
  28. Koblet, W., Perret, P. (1982) Wanderung, Einlagerung und Mobilisation von Kohlehydraten in Reben. Wein-Wiss. 37, 368–382Google Scholar
  29. Koblet, W., Candolfi-Vasconcelos, M.C., Aeschimann, E., Howell, G.S. (1992) Influence of defoliation, rootstock, and training system on Pinot noir grapevines. I. Mobilization and reaccumulation of assimilates in woody tissue. Proc. 3rd Int. Symp. Cool Climate Vitic. Enol., Forschungsanstalt Geisenheim und Mainz, Universität. June 1992, in pressGoogle Scholar
  30. Lucas, W.J., Madore, M.A. (1988) Recent advances in sugar transport. In: The Biochemistry of plants, vol. 14., pp. 35–84, Preiss, J., ed. Academic Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  31. Mansfield, T.K., Howell, G.S. (1981) Response of soluble solids accumulation, fruitfulness, cold resistance, and onset of bud growth to differential defoliation stress at veraison in Concord grapevines. Am. J. Enol. Vitic. 32, 200–205Google Scholar
  32. May, P., Shaulis, N.J., Antcliff, A.J. (1969) The effect of controlled defoliation in Sultana vine. Am. J. Enol. Vitic. 20, 237–250Google Scholar
  33. Motomura, Y. (1981) Incorporation of 14C-assimilates into GA-treated and -untreated inflorescences following assimilation of 14C by individual leaves in grape shoot. Tohoku J. Agric. Res. 33, 1–13Google Scholar
  34. Motomura, Y (1990) Distribution of C-14-assimilates from individual leaves on clusters in grape shoots. Am. J. Enol. Vitic. 41, 306–312Google Scholar
  35. Quinlan, J.Q., Weaver, R.J. (1970) Modification of the pattern of the photosynthate movement within and between shoots of Vitis vinifera L. Plant Physiol. 46, 527–530Google Scholar
  36. Ruffner H.P., Adler, S., Rast, D.M. (1990) Soluble and wall associated forms of invertase in Vitis vinifera. Phytochemistry 29, 2083–2089Google Scholar
  37. Ruffner H.P., Skrivan, R., Adler, S. (1993) Activity, localization and properties of acid invertases in maturing grapevine leaves and berries. Proc. SAAB Congress, Belleville, South Africa, 1993Google Scholar
  38. Scholefield, P.B., Neals, T.F., May, P. (1978) Carbon balance of the Sultana vine (Vitis vinifera L.) and the effects of autumn defoliation by harvest-pruning. Aust. J. Plant Physiol. 5, 561–570Google Scholar
  39. Sepúlveda, G., Kliewer, W.M., Ryugo, K. (1986) Effect of high temperature on grapevines (Vitis vinifera L.). I. Translocation of 14C-photosynthates. Am. J. Enol. Vitic. 37, 13–19Google Scholar
  40. Servaites, J.C., Fondy, B.R., Li, B., Geiger, D.R. (1989a) Sources of carbon for export from spinach leaves throughout the day. Plant Physiol. 90, 1168–1174Google Scholar
  41. Servaites, J.C., Geiger, D.S., Tucci, M.A., Fondy, B.R. (1989b) Leaf carbon metabolism and metabolite levels during a period of sinusoidal light. Plant Physiol. 89, 403–408Google Scholar
  42. Shishido, Y., Hori, Y. (1979) Studies on translocation and distribution of photosynthetic assimilates in tomato plants. III. Distribution pattern as affected by air and root temperatures in the night. Tohoku J. Agricult. Res. 30, 87–94Google Scholar
  43. Stoev, K., Ivantchev, V. (1977) Données nouvelles sur le problème de la translocation descendante et ascendante des produits de la photosynthèse de la vigne. Vitis 16, 253–262Google Scholar
  44. Sung, S.S., Xu, D.P., Black, C.C. (1989) Identification of actively filling sucrose sinks. Plant Physiol. 89, 1117–1121Google Scholar
  45. Swanson, C.A., El-Shishiny, E.D.H. (1958) Translocation of sugars in the Concord grape. Plant Physiol. 33, 33–37Google Scholar
  46. Swanson, C.A., Geiger, D.R. (1967) Time course of low temperature inhibition of sucrose translocation in sugar beets. Plant Physiol. 42, 751–756Google Scholar
  47. Van Zyl, J.L. (1984) Response of Colombar grapevines to irrigation as regards quality aspects and growth. S. Afr. J. Enol. Vitic. 5, 19–28Google Scholar
  48. Wardlaw, I.F. (1968) The control and pattern of movement of carbohydrates in plants. Bot. Rev. 34, 79–105Google Scholar
  49. Webb, J.A. (1967) Translocation of sugars in Cucurbita melopepo. IV. Effects of temperature change. Plant Physiol. 42, 881–885Google Scholar
  50. Webb, J.A., Gorham, P.R. (1965) The effect of node temperature on assimilation and translocation of C14 in the squash. Can. J. Bot. 43, 1009–1020Google Scholar
  51. Yang, Y-S., Hori, Y (1979) Studies on retranslocation of accumulated assimilates in “Delaware” grapevines. I. Retranslocation of 14C-assimilates in the following spring after 14C feeding in summer and autumn. Tohoku J. Agric. Res. 30, 43–56Google Scholar
  52. Yang, Y.-S., Hori, Y. (1980) Studies on retranslocation of accumulated assimilates in “Delaware” grapevines. III. Early growth of new shoots as dependent on accumulated and current year assimilates. Tohoku J. Agric. Res. 31, 120–129Google Scholar
  53. Yang, Y.S., Hori, Y., Ogata, R. (1980) Studies on retranslocation of accumulated assimilates in “Delaware” grapevines. II. Retranslocation of assimilates accumulated during the previous growing season. Tohoku J. Agric. Res. 31, 109–119Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Carmo Candolfi-Vasconcelos
    • 1
  • Marco P. Candolfi
    • 1
  • Werner Kohlet
    • 1
  1. 1.Swiss Federal Research Station for Fruit-Growing, Viticulture and HorticultureWädenswilSwitzerland
  2. 2.Department of HorticultureMichigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA
  3. 3.Pesticide Research CenterMichigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA

Personalised recommendations