Carbohydrate reserves in grapevine (<i>Vitis vinifera</i> L. 'Chasselas'): the influence of the leaf to fruit ratio


  • V. Zufferey
  • F. Murisier
  • P. Vivin
  • S. Belcher
  • F. Lorenzini
  • J. L. Spring
  • O. Viret



carbohydrate reserves, total non-structural carbohydrates, starch, source-sink ratio, roots, wood


Seasonal dynamics of total non-structural carbohydrates (TNC) in relation to the leaf-fruit ratio were measured over five years at different grapevine phenological stages in one- and two-year-old canes, trunks and roots of the cultivar 'Chasselas' (Vitis vinifera L.). Carbohydrates were mainly stored as starch in different parts of the grapevine during the growing season. Soluble carbohydrates represented only a small part (< 7 % of dry weight, DW) of the TNC. In the roots and trunks, the starch content fluctuated during the growing season, reaching the lowest values between budbreak and flowering depending on the year, and the highest values between harvest and leaf fall. The soluble sugar content increased in the trunks and the two-year-old canes during the winter period with the decrease in temperatures. A negative correlation was established between the average air temperature recorded during the seven days before sample collection for carbohydrate analysis, and soluble carbohydrate content in the trunks and two-year-old canes. The leaffruit ratio (source-sink), expressed by the “light-exposed leaf area∙kg-1 fruit”, not only substantially influenced the soluble sugar content in berries but also the starch and TNC concentrations in the trunks and roots at harvest. Higher leaf-fruit ratios resulted in increased starch and TNC concentrations in the trunks and roots, which attained the maximum values when the leaf-fruit ratio neared 2.0 m2 of light-exposed leaf area∙kg-1 fruit. Canopy height and leaf area had no predominant influence on the soluble sugars, starch contents, or TNC in the permanent vine parts.