PlantStressLab - CARBOSTRESS

CARBOSTRESS: The allocation of carbon during drought in grapevine:

a key event in plant defense strategies

The current climatic variations lead to the alternation of extreme events with periods of drought. The atmospheric CO2 concentration, the triggering factor of the greenhouse effect, is constantly rising, and the carbon cycle (C) in plants could partly mitigate the effect, but the high temperatures affect both photorespiration and C dynamics in plant and soil.

Grapevine is a plant that adapts to periods of drought, which are correlated with berry quality.

The root orchestrates the defense adaptations to drought, acting as a sink of the C allocated during growth slowdowns, C which is floematically released in the post-drought periods. In the vine, roots compete with bunches in receiving photosynthates during the growing season, and the competition increases with water stress.

The aim of this project is to study the C allocation kinetics in grapevine organs in a controlled water deficit system, in order to orientate: choice of rootstocks, control of quality of grapes, longevity of the vineyards, Winter and Summer pruning, new planting vineyards.

The research bases on studies of C allocation, trough pulse-chasing isotopic strategy. The isotope acts as a tracer of the floematic flows that are oriented towards different sinks during drought/rehydration cycles.

In the same sinks taken for isotopic analysis, the expression of genes involved in carbohydrate transport is investigated. Genes encoding proteins that regulate the delivery of sucrose to the sinks and which catalyze the hydrolysis of the sucrose discharged to trigger respiration or C storage are analyzed.

Photosynthetic assimilation, stomatal regulation and respiration are checked in the various phases.

Project coordinator: Claudio Lovisolo


▪ University of Turin

▪ IPSP-CNR, Turin

Project start 1 September 2018, duration 18 months

Financial support:

Cassa di Risparmio di Torino Foundation