Image_4_Day Temperature Has a Stronger Effect Than Night Temperature on Anthocyanin and Flavonol Accumulation in ‘Merlot’ (Vitis vinifera L.) Grapes During Ripening.tiff
Flavonoids impart color and mouthfeel to grapes and wine and are very sensitive to environmental conditions. Growth chamber experiments were performed to investigate the effect of temperature regimes and the differences between day/night temperatures on anthocyanins and flavonols in Merlot grapes. Among the regimes tested, the ones with diurnal 20°C determined the highest levels of anthocyanins and flavonols. Higher diurnal temperatures decreased those levels but increased the proportion of methoxylated and acylated species. When regimes with the same day temperature but different night temperatures were compared, differences between day/night temperatures did not affect anthocyanins, unless a difference of 25°C between day and night temperatures was imposed. When regimes with the same night temperature but different day temperatures were compared, the regime with higher day temperature had a lower anthocyanin level. No relationships were observed between the effects of temperature regimes on anthocyanin level and the expression of key anthocyanin genes. However, the effects on anthocyanin acylation level were consistent with the effects on the acyltransferase expression, and the effects on flavonol level were consistent with the effects on the expression of key flavonol genes. This study indicates that, in Merlot grapes, anthocyanins and flavonols are mostly sensitive to day temperatures.