Differences in chemical composition of 'Plavac mali' grape berries
Evaluation of differences in yield and quality of grapevine is often based on the random samples of berries harvested on the same date. Due to differences in ripeness of berries from the same cluster, and among berries from different clusters of the same vine, the determined differences among examined treatments (clones, agricultural practices etc.) based on random berry samples may be over- or underestimated. The aims of this study were to determine: (1) differences among three 'Plavac mali' clones in the proportion of berries of different density classes (sugar concentration level) using the flotation method; (2) differences in berry weight and chemical composition among density classes of the same clone, and (3) differences between clones of the same density class. Significant differences were determined for all observed characteristics, among different berries density classes and clones. The results obtained indicate that berry samples used to compare different clones should be, to the greatest possible extent, at the same level of ripeness, as this significantly effects chemical composition. This can be achieved using the density separation of berries with the simple flotation method presented in this study. The presented results could be useful in the future improvement of clonal selection methodology as well as in improvement of sampling strategy for other types of researches.
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