The influence of UV on the production of free terpenes in vitis vinifera cv. shiraz


Terpenes contribute to the desirable flavour and aroma of grapes and wine. The biosynthesis of these plant secondary metabolites is influenced by both physiological and environmental factors, such as grapevine phenological stage and sunlight exposure. In this study, we investigated the influence of ultraviolet (UV) at different grapevine phenological stages on free terpenes in grape at harvest. Two types of transparent polymer films were applied to grape bunches to eliminate both UV-A and UV-B or only eliminate UV-B, followed by the identification and quantification of terpenes using headspace solid-phase microextraction with gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (HS–SPME–GC–MS) analysis. In all, 27 free terpenes were identified, including eight monoterpenes/monoterpenoids, four norisoprenoids and fifteen sesquiterpenes. Higher concentrations of γ-terpinene, linalool and β-damascenone were observed in grapes with UV-B attenuation compared to the naturally exposed grape bunches. Elevated α-muurolene was observed in UV-attenuated grapes from pre-veraison to harvest, while higher concentrations of γ-cadinene were observed in naturally exposed grapes. The impacts of UV exclusion on grape terpenes at harvest were specific to phenological stages, where applying UV films from veraison to intermediate ripeness reduced the concentrations of key terpenes in grape harvest and UV attenuation from intermediate ripeness to harvest promoted the accumulation of α-muurolene and γ-cadinene. This study provides information for viticulturists to better manage grape terpene composition through UV shading.

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