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Improvement of grapevine physiology and yield under summer stress by kaolin-foliar application: water relations, photosynthesis and oxidative damage

Dinis, L.-T., Malheiro, A.C., Luzio, A., Fraga, H., Ferreira, H., Gonçalves, I., Pinto, G., Correia, C.M., Moutinho-Pereira, J.
Photosynthetica 2018 v.56 no.2 pp. 641-651
Vitis, chlorophyll, climate change, kaolin, leaf water potential, leaves, oxidative stress, photochemistry, photosystem II, pigments, proteins, reflectance, starch, stomatal conductance, sugars, summer, temperature, thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances, vineyards, Portugal
Knowledge about short-term climate change adaptation strategies for Mediterranean vineyards is needed in order to improve grapevine physiology and yield-quality attributes. We investigated effects of kaolin-particle film suspension on water relations, photosynthesis and oxidative stress of field-grown grapevines in the Douro region (northern Portugal) in 2012 and 2013. Kaolin suspension decreased leaf temperature by 18% and increased leaf water potential (up to 40.7% in 2013). Maximum photochemical quantum efficiency of PSII was higher and the minimal chlorophyll fluorescence was lower in the plants sprayed by kaolin. Two months after application, net photosynthesis and stomatal conductance at midday increased by 58.7 and 28.4%, respectively, in treated plants. In the same period, kaolin treatment increased photochemical reflectance, photosynthetic pigments, soluble proteins, soluble sugars, and starch concentrations, while decreased total phenols and thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances. Kaolin application can be an operational tool to alleviate summer stresses, which ameliorates grapevine physiology and consequently leads to a higher yield.