Microclimate influence on mineral and metabolic profiles of grape berries

J Agric Food Chem. 2006 Sep 6;54(18):6765-75. doi: 10.1021/jf061013k.


The grape berry microclimate is known to influence berry quality. The effects of the light exposure of grape berry clusters on the composition of berry tissues were studied on the "Merlot" variety grown in a vineyard in Bordeaux, France. The light exposure of the fruiting zone was modified using different intensities of leaf removal, cluster position relative to azimuth, and berry position in the cluster. Light exposures were identified and classified by in situ measurements of berry temperatures. Berries were sampled at maturity (>19 Brix) for determination of skin and/or pulp chemical and metabolic profiles based on (1) chemical and physicochemical measurement of minerals (N, P, K, Ca, Mg), (2) untargeted 1H NMR metabolic fingerprints, and HPLC targeted analyses of (3) amino acids and (4) phenolics. Each profile defined by partial least-square discriminant analysis allowed us to discriminate berries from different light exposure. Discriminant compounds between shaded and light-exposed berries were quercetin-3-glucoside, kaempferol-3-glucoside, myricetin-3-glucoside, and isorhamnetin-3-glucoside for the phenolics, histidine, valine, GABA, alanine, and arginine for the amino acids, and malate for the organic acids. Capacities of the different profiling techniques to discriminate berries were compared. Although the proportion of explained variance from the 1H NMR fingerprint was lower compared to that of chemical measurements, NMR spectroscopy allowed us to identify lit and shaded berries. Light exposure of berries increased the skin and pulp flavonols, histidine and valine contents, and reduced the organic acids, GABA, and alanine contents. All the targeted and nontargeted analytical data sets used made it possible to discriminate sun-exposed and shaded berries. The skin phenolics pattern was the most discriminating and allowed us to sort sun from shade berries. These metabolite classes can be used to qualify berries collected in an undetermined environment. The physiological significance of light and temperature effects on berry composition is discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acids / analysis
  • Anthocyanins / analysis
  • Chemical Phenomena
  • Chemistry, Physical
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Flavonols / analysis
  • Fruit / chemistry*
  • Fruit / growth & development
  • Fruit / metabolism*
  • Light
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
  • Microclimate*
  • Minerals / analysis*
  • Temperature
  • Vitis*


  • Amino Acids
  • Anthocyanins
  • Flavonols
  • Minerals