Journal Article

The peripheral xylem of grapevine (<i>Vitis vinifera</i>) berries. 2. Anatomy and development

David S. Chatelet, Thomas L. Rost, Mark A. Matthews and Kenneth A. Shackel

in Journal of Experimental Botany

Published on behalf of Society for Experimental Biology

Volume 59, issue 8, pages 1997-2007
Published in print May 2008 | ISSN: 0022-0957
Published online April 2008 | e-ISSN: 1460-2431 | DOI:

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It has been hypothesized that the substantial reductions in xylemic water flow occurring at veraison are due to physical disruption (breaking) of the xylem as a result of renewed berry growth. In a companion paper, evidence was presented that the vast majority of xylem tracheary elements remained intact despite the growth of the berry, and it was proposed that existing tracheary elements stretch to accommodate growth and that additional elements may also differentiate after veraison. Measurements of the intergyre distance of tracheary elements in macerated tissue were used to test for stretching, and the numbers of tracheary elements per vascular bundle and of branch points of the peripheral xylem network were analysed to test for continued differentiation from 18 to 120 d after anthesis in Chardonnay berries. The distance between the epidermis and the vasculature increased substantially from pre- to post-veraison, potentially increasing the amount of skin available for analysis of compounds important for winemaking. Tracheary elements continued to differentiate within the existing vascular bundles throughout berry development. Additional vascular bundles also appeared until after veraison, thereby increasing the complexity of the peripheral vascular network. The results also confirmed that tracheary elements stretched by ∼20%, but this was not as much as that predicted based on the growth of the vascular diameter (40%). These results complete a comprehensive evaluation of grape berry peripheral xylem during its development and show that tracheary development continues further into berry maturation than previously thought.

Keywords: Tracheary element; vasculature; vessel; water movement

Journal Article.  6058 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Plant Sciences and Forestry

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