, Volume 227, Issue 6, pp 1351–1361 | Cite as

Fruit ripening in Vitis vinifera: apoplastic solute accumulation accounts for pre-veraison turgor loss in berries

  • Hiroshi Wada
  • Ken A. Shackel
  • Mark A. MatthewsEmail author
Original Article


In Vitis vinifera L. berries, the onset of ripening (known as “veraison”) involves loss of turgor (P) in the mesocarp cells. We hypothesized that P loss was associated with an accumulation of apoplastic solutes in mesocarp tissue prior to veraison. Apoplastic sap was extracted from the mesocarp by centrifugation at the appropriate gravity to measure the apoplast solute potential (Ψ s A ) and assay the sap composition. The Ψ s A was about −0.2 MPa early in development, decreased about 1.0 MPa by veraison, and continued to decrease during ripening to almost −4.0 MPa by the end of berry development. Potassium, malate, tartrate, proline, glucose, fructose, and sucrose were quantified in apoplastic sap. The calculated contribution of these solutes was about 50% of the total Ψ s A preveraison, but increased to about 75% as fructose and glucose accumulated during ripening. The contribution of the estimated matric potential to apoplast water potential decreased during development and was only 1.5% postveraison. We conclude that high concentrations of solutes accumulated in the mesocarp apoplast prior to veraison, and that P loss was a direct result of decreased Ψ s A . Because Ψ s A decreased before veraison, our findings suggest that apoplast solutes play an important role in the events of cellular metabolism that lead to the onset of ripening.


Apoplast Symplast Grape Turgor Cell pressure probe Centrifugation Capillary electrophoresis Symplast contamination Veraison 











Matric potential


Solute potential


Apoplast solute potential


Protoplast (symplast) solute potential


Tissue solute potential


Total water potential


Apoplast total water potential


Protoplast (symplast) total water potential



We thank Dr. Kentaro Inoue of the Department of Plant Sciences, University of California, Davis, for use of his centrifuge. We gratefully acknowledge Dr. Thomas T. Cochrane of Department of Civil Engineering, University of Canterbury, for providing us with his valuable data sheet for solute potential calculations. The authors also thank Cal-Western Nurseries, Visalia, CA, USA for providing Chardonnay grapevines.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hiroshi Wada
    • 1
  • Ken A. Shackel
    • 2
  • Mark A. Matthews
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Viticulture and EnologyUniversity of CaliforniaDavisUSA
  2. 2.Department of Plant Sciences/PomologyUniversity of CaliforniaDavisUSA

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