Fruit ripening in Vitis vinifera: light intensity before and not during ripening determines the concentration of 2-methoxy-3-isobutylpyrazine in Cabernet Sauvignon berries




The roles of light and temperature in the accumulation of the vegetal impact compound 2-methoxy-3-isobutylpyrazine (MIBP) in grape (Vitis vinifera L.) berries were determined. Individual clusters were exposed to various light intensities using neutral density shade cloth before ripening, during ripening or throughout the season in three growing seasons. A recently developed method using headspace solid-phase microextraction combined with GC-MS in the selected ion-monitoring mode was employed to measure MIBP in berries. Berry MIBP concentration increased subsequent to berry set, reached a maximum prior to onset of ripening, and then decreased thereafter until harvest. Complete shading of clusters increased the concentration of MIBP more than 100% compared to unshaded controls in 2 out of 3 years. Light increasingly inhibited MIBP concentrations up to 25–50% of ambient light intensities (1500 µmol photons m−2 s−1). However, only changes in light intensity before ripening had any effect on MIBP accumulation or final MIBP concentration. Analyses of weather data showed that the 1 year in which shading was ineffective was unusually warm, warm early in the season, and had more hot days and higher early season degree days than the other 2 years. In controlled environment experiments, warm growth conditions reduced MIBP concentrations in fruit about as much as light exposure reduced MIBP concentrations in the field experiments. The results indicate that both light and temperature significantly affect MIBP in harvested fruit, but that the light environment during ripening does not significantly affect MIBP concentrations in the berries at harvest.