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Keywords:

  • grape germplasm;
  • sugars;
  • organic acids;
  • principal component analysis

Abstract

A total of 98 grape cultivars were studied for content and composition of organic acids and sugars in grape juice during two consecutive years. Glucose and fructose were the predominant sugars in grape berries and ranged from 45.86 to 122.89 mg mL−1, and 47.64 to 131.04 mg mL−1, respectively, in two years. Sucrose was present at trace amounts in most cultivars, but two cultivars of hybrids between Vitis labrusca and V. vinifera contained large amounts of sucrose. Tartaric acid content in berries, varying from 1.57 to 9.09 and 1.54 to 9.05 mg mL−1, respectively, in two years, was significantly higher than malic acid, which ranged from 0.38 to 6.05 and 0.36 to 7.06 mg mL−1, respectively, in two years. Moreover, significantly higher total soluble sugars and fructose and lower total acids and malic acid were found in cultivars from hybrids between V. labrusca and V. vinifera than those in V. vinifera cultivars, and wine grapes had higher total sugars and acids than table grapes from V. vinifera. Principal component analysis (PCA) indicated that genotypic correlations among sugar and acid contents were stable and the first three PCs accounted for about 82% of total variance in both years. PC1 was highly connected with glucose and fructose contents, and sucrose was an important contributor to the variance for PC2, as well as for PC3. PC2 and PC3 were highly connected also with organic acids, but the contributor to variance differed from one year to the next. Tartaric acid was the main contributor to variance in 2003, and malic acid was important in 2004 for PC2 and PC3. In a scatter plot of the score values of all genotypes projected to the PC1 and PC2 plane, three groups of cultivars tend to cluster based on their genetic background or purpose of use. The cultivars of hybrid V. labrusca and V. vinifera were represented by high sugars, especially sucrose, and low acids. Among the cultivars of V. vinifera, wine grapes were found in general to have more sugars and acids than table grapes. The composition of sugars was stable in grape berries between the two years, while acids were sensitive to climate changes. Finally, the different responses of malic and tartaric acids to climate change is discussed. Copyright © 2006 Society of Chemical Industry