Partitioning and mobilization of starch and N reserves in grapevine (Vitis vinifera L.)

J Plant Physiol. 2004 Sep;161(9):1031-40. doi: 10.1016/j.jplph.2003.11.009.


We followed C and N reserves of grapevines grown in trenches under semi-controlled conditions over a 3-year period after planting. Temporal mobilization of stored C and N and subsequent distribution of reserve materials within the vines were described in parallel with 15N uptake, particularly during the third growing season. Storage C in the perennial tissues (roots, trunk, canes) was mainly made of starch, which accumulated in the ray parenchyma of the wood. In the permanent tissues, starch and total nitrogen contents were found to decrease early in the development (bleeding sap, budbreak) whereas, on a concentration basis, they decreased only after stage 7 (first leaf fully expanded). Starch started to accumulate again in the perennial tissues during flowering. The same observation was made with total nitrogen, although N levels were much lower than those of starch. The 15N study showed that N uptake by the roots started at budbreak and increased with vine development, becoming predominant over reserve mobilization only after the onset of flowering. Taken together, these results indicate that the spring growth period can be divided into three main phases: In the first (dormancy to budbreak), significant losses of C and N proceed mainly via root necrosis. In the second period (first leaf to the onset of bloom), a strong mobilization of starch (and, to a lower extent, of N) occurred for supporting vegetative and reproductive growth. At that point, most of the C and N reserves used on the spring flush were those of the roots, rather than those of the old wood (trunk, canes). In the third period (bloom and early berry development), the mobilization process became low and was relieved by N uptake (and CO2 assimilation) supplying nutrients to the sink structures.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Nitrates / pharmacology
  • Nitrogen / analysis
  • Nitrogen / metabolism*
  • Nitrogen Isotopes
  • Plant Roots / anatomy & histology
  • Plant Roots / drug effects
  • Plant Roots / metabolism
  • Plant Stems / anatomy & histology
  • Plant Stems / drug effects
  • Plant Stems / metabolism
  • Seasons
  • Starch / analysis
  • Starch / metabolism*
  • Time Factors
  • Vitis / anatomy & histology
  • Vitis / drug effects
  • Vitis / metabolism*


  • Nitrates
  • Nitrogen Isotopes
  • Starch
  • Nitrogen