Vascular transport into the berry and berry cell vitality: impact on fruit size and composition
Fruits, roots and leaves are interconnected by a dynamic vascular system allowing mass transport of essential materials and a means for whole plant communication and integration. Long distance transport via the grapevine’s xylem/phloem network ultimately defines fruit size and composition, impacting yield and wine style.
As the reproductive organ responsible for spreading of seeds, berry development includes the final phase of berry senescence. The change in cell vitality within the berry mesocarp may reflect the progress and the status of berry ripening, and may impact on the connection between the berry and other parts of the grapevine.
The Vascular Transport sub-project will define the mechanisms driving xylem/phloem flow and show how their close connection dictates water, carbohydrate, ion and signal flow to the berry. Metabolomics, transcriptomics and imaging will define the impacts of limitations in vascular transport processes in relation to berry growth, ripening and senescence.
The Cell Vitality sub-project will explore the link between berry cell vitality and potassium, since the potassium ion accumulates into the berry during ripening. The related metabolites and the potential contributors to the change of berry cell vitality will be investigated.
Outputs will help growers improve the quality of grapes and the resulting wines, thereby boosting profitability.
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