, Volume 56, Issue 2, pp 641–651 | Cite as

Improvement of grapevine physiology and yield under summer stress by kaolin-foliar application: water relations, photosynthesis and oxidative damage

  • L.-T. DinisEmail author
  • A. C. Malheiro
  • A. Luzio
  • H. Fraga
  • H. Ferreira
  • I. Gonçalves
  • G. Pinto
  • C. M. Correia
  • J. Moutinho-Pereira
Original paper


Knowledge about short-term climate change adaptation strategies for Mediterranean vineyards is needed in order to improve grapevine physiology and yield-quality attributes. We investigated effects of kaolin-particle film suspension on water relations, photosynthesis and oxidative stress of field-grown grapevines in the Douro region (northern Portugal) in 2012 and 2013. Kaolin suspension decreased leaf temperature by 18% and increased leaf water potential (up to 40.7% in 2013). Maximum photochemical quantum efficiency of PSII was higher and the minimal chlorophyll fluorescence was lower in the plants sprayed by kaolin. Two months after application, net photosynthesis and stomatal conductance at midday increased by 58.7 and 28.4%, respectively, in treated plants. In the same period, kaolin treatment increased photochemical reflectance, photosynthetic pigments, soluble proteins, soluble sugars, and starch concentrations, while decreased total phenols and thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances. Kaolin application can be an operational tool to alleviate summer stresses, which ameliorates grapevine physiology and consequently leads to a higher yield.

Additional key words

biochemistry Douro region oxidative stress Vitis vinifera 







internal CO2 concentration/ambient CO2 ratio


transpiration rate


photosynthetic electron transport rate


minimal chlorophyll fluorescence


variable chlorophyll fluorescence


maximal chlorophyll fluorescence


maximum photochemical quantum efficiency of PSII


capture efficiency of excitation energy by open PSII reaction centres


stomatal conductance


net CO2 assimilation rate


nonphotochemical quenching


photochemical quenching

RIred edge

chlorophyll reflectance index


soluble proteins


soluble sugars




thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances


total phenols


actual PSII efficiency


midday leaf water potential


predawn leaf water potential


WUEi-PN/gs, intrinsic water-use efficiency


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Supplementary material

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11099_2017_714_MOESM2_ESM.pdf (217 kb)
Supplementary material, approximately 228 KB.


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Copyright information

© The Institute of Experimental Botany 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • L.-T. Dinis
    • 1
    Email author
  • A. C. Malheiro
    • 1
  • A. Luzio
    • 1
  • H. Fraga
    • 1
  • H. Ferreira
    • 1
  • I. Gonçalves
    • 2
  • G. Pinto
    • 3
  • C. M. Correia
    • 1
  • J. Moutinho-Pereira
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for the Research and Technology of Agro-Environmental and Biological Sciences (CITAB)Universidade de Trás-os-Montes e Alto DouroVila RealPortugal
  2. 2.Associação para o Desenvolvimento da Viticultura Duriense (ADVID), Edifício Centro de Excelência da Vinha e do VinhoParque de Ciência e Tecnologia de Vila Real – Régia Douro ParkVila RealPortugal
  3. 3.Department of Biology & CESAM – Centre for Environmental and Marine Studies, Universidade de AveiroCampus Universitário de SantiagoAveiroPortugal

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