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  • Author or Editor: Markus Keller x
  • Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science x
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Berry shrivel, a physiological disorder, adversely affects ripening of grape (Vitis vinifera L.) berries; however, its causes are unknown. We adopted a holistic approach to elucidate symptomatology, morphoanatomy, and osmotic behavior of grape berry shrivel. Berries from healthy and afflicted vines were analyzed compositionally and with various techniques of microscopy. Healthy berries developed all physical and compositional attributes desirable for wine-making. Conversely, berry shrivel berries were grossly metamorphosed manifested as shriveling of the pericarp, which paralleled with loss of membrane competence in the mesocarp cells causing its collapse and a loss of brush. The most intriguing observation was the presence of non-druse crystals. These berries had high osmotic potential (ψS) as a result of low accumulations of sugar and potassium. Nonetheless, the seed morphology, structure, and viability were similar to healthy seeds. Berry shrivel grotesquely modified grape berries both compositionally and structurally, which was paralleled by their inability to accumulate sugars followed by cell death in the mesocarp. Although the mechanisms of berry shrivel remain uncertain, our study provides valuable background information for generating suitable guidelines to minimize the incidences of berry shrivel and also to design future studies toward unraveling the mechanistic basis of berry shrivel.

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