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  • Author or Editor: A.J.M. Smucker x
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An experiment was conducted to evaluate interrelationships between differing crop loads and water stress on physiology and root dynamics of 3 year old Seyval grapevines grafted to 5-BB, Seyval and Seyval own-rooted stock grown under a rain exclusion shelter. Treatments were: 1) cropping level, either 0 (defruited) or 6 clusters/vine (heavily cropped) and 2) irrigation level, either 2.5 (stress) or 10 liters (control) of water/plant/week. Vines had significantly different root dynamics in regards to crop load, water status and rootstock. Water stressed vines had significantly fewer and smaller leaves (area cm 2 lighter trunk weights (g) and shorter shoot length compared to control vines. Heavily cropped vines had significantly fewer mature nodes, shorter shoot growth and higher bud mortality (winter injury) compared to defruited vines.

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Both berries and roots of grapevines are powerful carbohydrate sinks. However, during periods of soil-moisture stress, the relative strength of these two sinks is not known. This experiment was conducted to evaluate interrelationships between differing crop loads on carbohydrate partitioning for above and below-ground tissues. Root development, depth, and rate of turnover were determined by quantifying root images from video recordings taken to depths of 75 cm at two week intervals throughout the growing season. Two-year old own rooted Seyval grapevines, and Seyval grafted to 5-BB and Seyval, were grown under a rain exclusion shelter and provided with 10 or 2.5 liters of water/plant/week. Treatments were cropping level, either 0 or 6-clusters/vine. Shoot length, number of mature nodes, and dry leaf weight of vines under high cropping level were significantly reduced compared to vines growing under the low cropping level; so was root number and depth of root penetration. These data suggest that conditions of low soil moisture result in carbohydrate partitioning in favor of the clusters at the expense of the roots.

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