Main content area

Thaumatin-like proteins and chitinases, the haze-forming proteins of wine, accumulate during ripening of grape (Vitis vinifera) berries and drought stress does not affect the final levels per berry at maturity

Pocock, K.F., Hayasaka, Y., McCarthy, M.G., Waters, E.J.
Journal of agricultural and food chemistry 2000 v.48 no.5 pp. 1637-1643
Vitis vinifera, ripening, chitinase, plant proteins, pathogenesis, drought, water stress, wine cultivars, molecular weight, microirrigation, protein content, brix, chemical constituents of plants, pathogenesis-related proteins
Thaumatin-like proteins and chitinases, which are pathogenesis-related (PR) proteins, were the major soluble protein components of grapes from five cultivars of Vitis vinifera. This dominance of PR proteins was apparent at berry softening (veraison) and then throughout berry development for the Muscat of Alexandria, Sultana, and Shiraz cultivars and in the berries of the Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir cultivars examined at commercial maturity. The M(r) of the major thaumatin-like protein from Muscat of Alexandria grapes was 21 272, and those of the three major chitinases from this cultivar, ChitB, ChitC, and ChitD, were 25 588, 25 410, and 25 457, respectively. The vines in the study were irrigated and showed no obvious signs of disease. Shiraz vines that had not been irrigated throughout the season were clearly water stressed, but had levels of PR proteins in the berry similar to vines that had been fully irrigated. It appears that the production of PR proteins that cause protein instability in wines by grapes may be little influenced by environmental conditions.