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Grape Colour Phenotyping: Development of a Method Based on the Reflectance Spectrum


  • Joint publication of the COST Action FA1003 “East–West Collaboration for Grapevine Diversity Exploration and Mobilization of Adaptive Traits for Breeding”.

Correspondence to: Laura Rustioni, Università degli Studi di Milano, CIRIVE – Centro Interdipartimentale di ricerca per l'innovazione in Viticoltura ed Enologia, via Celoria 2, I-20133 Milano, Italy. Email:



The colour of fruit is an important quality factor for cultivar classification and phenotyping techniques. Besides the subjective visual evaluation, new instruments and techniques can be used.


This work aims at developping an objective, fast, easy and non-destructive method as a useful support for evaluating grapes' colour under different cultural and environmental conditions, as well as for breeding process and germplasm evaluation, supporting the plant characterization and the biodiversity preservation.

Materials and Methods

Colours of 120 grape varieties were studied using reflectance spectra. The classification was realized using cluster and discriminant analysis. Reflectance of the whole berries surface was also compared with absorption properties of single skin extracts.


A phenotyping method based on the reflectance spectra was developed, producing reliable colour classifications. A cultivar-independent index for pigment content evaluation has also been obtained.


This work allowed the classification of the berry colour using an objective method. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.