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Jason E. Stout, Joan R. Davenport, and R. Troy Peters

Drought conditions in the western United States have limited water availability for the irrigation of agricultural products. This can have a dramatic impact on yield and quality of specialty perennial crops, such as juice grapes (Vitis labruscana Bailey). Washington State juice grape industry typically irrigates to 100% of crop-specific evapotranspiration (ETc) throughout the season to minimize yield loss. However, as conditions have limited water availability, growers need a new strategy to cope with the limited water supply. Regulated deficit irrigation (RDI) applies less water than plant ETc and has been shown to improve fruit quality in red wine grapes (Vitis vinifera). The objectives of this study were to evaluate the effects of RDI treatments on the yield and quality of ‘Concord’ juice grapes as compared with current commercial practice. The treatments reduced the amount of water applied between bloom and veraison by 25% (−25%), 33% (−33%), and 45% (−45%) from the control application. The results of this 4-year study initially indicated a dramatic decrease in yield in the −45% treatment (7.5 Mg/ha) as compared with the control treatment (19.2 Mg/ha); however, yield for the RDI treatments recovered in the subsequent seasons and was not statically different from the control. There were no statistical differences in fruit quality between treatments. This indicates that RDI has the potential to decrease water applied between bloom and veraison without impacting fruit quality; however, to avoid a sudden decrease in yield, it would be necessary to gradually reduce water applications over several years.

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Anne Fennell and Emily Hoover

The grape species Vitis labruscana Bailey and V. riparia Michx. were subjected to a decreasing photoperiod at constant moderate temperatures to determine whether acclimation occurred in response to a shortening photoperiod. Cane growth, periderm development, killing temperature of the primary bud, and bud dormancy were measured in vines receiving a natural photoperiod (ND), a simulated long photoperiod of 15 hours (LD), and shorter photoperiods of 14, 13, or 12 hours (SD). The LD treatment was effective at maintaining growth and inhibiting periderm development and the onset of bud dormancy in V. labruscana. Cane growth rate with all SD treatments decreased as compared to the LD regime. A significant increase in periderm development occurred with the 12-hour SD treatment. Similarly, the onset of bud dormancy was promoted by the 12-hour SD in V. labruscana. The primary bud killing temperature was 1C lower in V. labruscana under the 12-hour SD than under the LD treatment. In contrast, the LD treatment neither maintained growth nor fully inhibited periderm development and the onset of dormancy in V. riparia. The decrease in the cane growth rate upon exposure to SD was significantly greater in V. riparia than V. labruscana. Periderm development was observed in both the SD and its respective LD-treated V. riparia vines. However, the rate of periderm development was significantly greater in the SD vines than in the LD vines. The onset of bud dormancy was promoted by 13-hour SD in V. riparia. Similarly, the primary bud killing temperature was 2 to 3C lower in V. riparia upon exposure to SD. Vitis riparia has a longer critical photoperiod than V. labruscana and appears to be more sensitive to changes in light intensity or light quality. While the change in freezing tolerance in response to short photoperiods is small, the photoperiod response at a longer critical photoperiod, when combined with lower temperatures, will promote an earlier and possibly more rapid cold acclimation in V. riparia than in V. labruscana.

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Robert L. Wample, Lynn Mills, and Anna Wichers

An increase in mechanical pruning of Concord grapevines in Washington has led to a marked increase in yield. In 1993 the average yield for the 20,000 plus acres was slightly greater than 12 ton/acre. As part of a long term study, initiated in 1987, to evaluate the effects of mechanical pruning on Concord yield and fruit quality, we have also followed bud cold hardiness and winter injury over several years. Cold hardiness was monitored using low temperature exotherm analysis of excised buds. Winter injury was evaluated by visual examination of bud and cane tissues collected from vines with different croploads. In 1990 the average yield for mechanically pruned vines was 13T/ac and for balance pruned vines about 8T/ac. Winter injury during December 1990 showed significantly less injury to mechanically pruned vines whether primary, secondary or tertiary buds were examined. During the winter of 1991-92 and 1993-94 bud cold hardiness of individual vines showed no relationship to cropload per vine.

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David G. Himelrick, Robert M. Pool, and Philip J. McInnis

Several cryoprotectant chemicals were tested for their ability to increase the freeze resistance of grapevine (Vitis labruscana Bailey) leaf and dormant bud tissue. DuPont Surfactant WK, ethylene glycol, and BRIJ 35 were effective in lowering the low-temperature exotherm (LTE) in `Concord' grape buds below controls by 5.4, 5.1, and 3.9C, respectively, in March. Measurements taken in April showed BRIJ 35 and Surfactant WK to be notably superior to the other products, giving LTEs 14.1 and 12.2C below controls, respectively. Ethylene glycol, Frostguard, and Frost Free were less effective. LTEs were also significantly decreased in grape leaf disks 4.1C by BRIJ 35, 2.1C by Frostguard, and 0.4C by Frost Free treatments. Chemical name used: trimethylnonylpolyethoxyethanol (DuPont Surfactant WK).

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Terence R. Bates, Richard M. Dunst, Theodore Taft, and Michael Vercant

One- and 2-year-old 'Concord' (Vitis labruscana L.) grapevines were used to study the effect of soil pH on vegetative growth and nutrition. Ninety-eight, own-rooted, 'Concord' grapevines were planted in 94.6-L pots containing vineyard soil adjusted to seven soil pH levels ranging from 3.5 to 7.5. After the first growing season, seven vines from each soil pH treatment were randomly selected, destructively harvested, and measured for root and shoot growth. The remaining 49 vines over-wintered in the pots, were defruited in year two, and were destructively harvested at the end of the second growing season. There was a reduction in root biomass below soil pH of 4.5 and a greater reduction in shoot biomass leading to a higher root: shoot ratio. There were no significant differences in vegetative growth of young 'Concord' vines from a soil pH of 5.0-7.5. However, there was a trend toward lower shoot biomass and higher root: shoot ratio at the highest soil pH level. Phylloxera nodosities on roots were present in equal densities at all soil pH values. However, the negative impact of phylloxera on vine dry mass was greater on vines under nutrient stress at the highest and lowest pH treatments than on those with adequate nutrition at the mid-range soil pH values.

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Terence R. Bates, Richard M. Dunst, and Paula Joy

Three-year-old field-grown 'Concord' (Vitis labruscana Bailey) grapevines were destructively harvested at eight growth stages during 1998 to quantify growth, carbohydrate distribution, and nutrient concentrations of different organs. The roots were the major storage organ for carbohydrates and nutrients, accounting for 84% of the starch and 75% of nitrogen stored in the vines at the beginning of the season. About 78% of the reserve starch in the vine was used for prebloom root and shoot growth. Early-season fine-root growth was a sink for stored vine nitrogen; however, the fine roots quickly became a nitrogen uptake source, providing at least 84% of the spring growth nitrogen. Total root biomass increased from bloom to leaf fall, but reserve carbohydrates and nutrients lost in the prebloom period did not begin to recover in roots until the end of rapid shoot development in late July. Crop removal at harvest, and a late-season root flush, further increased vegetative carbohydrate and nutrient reserves in the short postharvest period.

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Brandon R. Smith and Lailiang Cheng

`Concord' grapevines (Vitis labruscana Bailey) can readily develop iron deficiency-induced leaf chlorosis when grown on calcareous or high pH soils. Iron (Fe) chelates are often applied to the soil to remedy chlorosis but can vary in their stability and effectiveness at high pH. We transplanted own-rooted 1-year-old `Concord' grapevines into a peat-based medium adjusted to pH 7.5 and fertigated them with 0, 0.5, 1.0, 2.0, or 4mg·L–1 Fe from Fe-EDDHA [ferric ethylenediamine di (o-hydroxyphenylacetic) acid] to determine the effectiveness of this Fe chelate for alleviating Fe deficiency-induced chlorosis at high pH. Vines were sampled midseason for iron, chlorophyll, CO2 assimilation, and photosystem II quantum efficiency (PSII) and at the end of the season for leaf area, dry weight, and cane length. We found that leaf total Fe concentration was similar across all treatments, but active Fe (extracted with 0.1 n HCl) concentration increased as the rate of Fe-EDDHA increased. Chlorophyll concentration increased curvilinearly as applied Fe increased and was highly correlated with active Fe concentration. CO2 assimilation, stomatal conductance, and PSII were very low without any supplemental Fe and increased rapidly in response to Fe application. Total leaf area, foliar dry weight, and cane length all increased as Fe application increased to 1 mg·L–1 Fe, but above this rate, a further increase in Fe did not significantly increase growth. Our results demonstrate that Fe-EDDHA is very effective in alleviating Fe deficiency-induced leaf chlorosis in `Concord' grapevines grown at high pH, which provides a foundation for continuing research related to the optimum rate and timing of application of Fe-EDDHA in `Concord' vineyards on calcareous soils. Compared with total Fe, leaf “active Fe” better indicates the actual Fe status of `Concord' vines.

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Akihiko Sato and Masahiko Yamada

The textural properties of grape berry flesh were evaluated with a puncture test using a total of 87 cultivars, consisting of 62 vinifera cultivars (Vitis vinifera L.) and 25 labruscana cultivars (Vitis labruscana Bailey) in order to search cultivars with crisp flesh texture for table grape breeding. Crisp texture is the most desirable texture for tableuse, and was determined as easy breakdown on mastication and firm flesh, which was measured as small deformation at the first major peak (DFP) and large maximum force (MF), respectively, in force-deformation curve of the test. For the vinifera cultivars, the mean values of DFP and MF were significantly smaller and larger in table-use cultivars than wine-use and dual-purpose cultivars, respectively. The result indicated that the vinifera wine-use and the dual-purpose cultivars had soft and non-crisp flesh. Based on the puncture tests, the cultivars with a crisp texture (2.5 mm ≥ for DFP and 0.9 N ≤ for MF) were limited to 11 vinifera table-use cultivars such as `Baladi', `Cardinal', and `Muscat of Alexandria'; and one vinifera dual-purpose cultivar (`Terbash'). The DFP was generally high in labruscana cultivars, which include table-use and dual-purpose cultivars, resulting in lacking cultivars with crisp texture among labruscana cultivars. These results indicate that the cultivars with a crisp texture were restricted to a small source within vinifera cultivars.

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Guohai Xia and Lailiang Cheng

One-year-old `Concord' grapevines (Vitis labruscana Bailey) were fertigated with 0, 5, 10, 15, or 20 mm N in a modified Hoagland's solution for 8 weeks during summer. Half of the vines fertigated at each N concentration were sprayed with 3% foliar urea twice in late September while the rest served as controls. Four vines from each treatment combination were destructively sampled during dormancy to determine the levels and forms of N and carbohydrates. Nitrogen fertigation during the summer did not significantly alter vine N concentration whereas foliar urea application in the fall significantly increased vine N concentration. In response to foliar urea application, concentrations of both free amino acid-N and protein-N increased, but the ratio of protein-N to free amino acid-N decreased. Arginine was the most abundant amino acid in free amino acids and proteins, and its concentration was linearly correlated with vine N concentration. Concentrations of total nonstructural carbohydrates (TNC) decreased slightly in response to N supply from fertigation. Foliar urea application in the fall significantly decreased TNC concentration at each N fertigation level. Starch, glucose, and fructose decreased in response to foliar urea applications, but sucrose concentration remained unaffected. Approximately 60% of the carbon decrease in TNC caused by foliar urea application was recovered in proteins and free amino acids. We conclude that free amino acids account for a larger proportion of the N in vines sprayed with foliar urea compared with the unsprayed vines, but proteins remain as the main form of N storage. In response to foliar urea application, part of the carbon from TNC is incorporated into proteins and free amino acids, leading to a decrease in the carbon stored in TNC and an increase in the carbon stored in proteins and free amino acids.

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Lailiang Cheng, Guohai Xia, and Terry Bates

One-year-old `Concord' grapevines (Vitis labruscana Bailey) were fertigated with 0, 5, 10, 15, or 20 mm nitrogen by using a modified Hoagland's solution for 8 weeks during active vine growth in summer. Half of the vines at each N concentration were sprayed with 3% foliar urea twice in late September while the rest served as controls. After natural leaf fall, all the vines were overwintered in a cold room (2 to 4 °C). Four vines from each treatment were destructively sampled before budbreak for reserve N and carbohydrate analysis. The remaining vines were supplied with either no N or sufficient N (10 mm N) from 2 weeks before bloom to 1 month after bloom. All the vines were destructively harvested at 1 month after bloom. Total amount of N in dormant vines increased with increasing N fertigation concentration. Total nonstructural carbohydrates (TNC) increased with increasing N fertigation concentration from 0 to 10 mm, and then leveled off with further rises in N supply. Foliar urea application increased total N but decreased TNC of dormant vines at each given N fertigation level. When no N was provided during the regrowth period, vine total leaf area, fruit yield, and total dry weight increased with increasing N supply from fertigation the previous year. Vines sprayed with foliar urea the previous fall produced a larger total leaf area, a higher yield, and a higher total vine dry weight at each given N fertigation concentration. Providing vines with sufficient N during the regrowth period significantly increased total leaf area, fruit yield, and vine total dry weight across the previous N fertigation concentrations, but vines sprayed with foliar urea still had a larger leaf area, a higher yield, and a higher total vine dry weight at each given N fertigation concentration. Therefore, we conclude that both vegetative growth and fruiting of young `Concord' vines are largely determined by reserve nitrogen, not by reserve carbohydrates, and that current-season N supply plays a very important role in sustaining vine growth and development, especially fruit growth.