Carbon partitioning between shoot organs following early leaf removal

Tommaso Frioni, Sergio Tombesi, Stefano Poni, Paolo Sabbatini, Dana Acimovic, Paolo Sivilotti, Alberto Palliotti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


In grapevines, basal leaf removal at bloom often induces a reduction of fruit set. The effect is related to a reduction in carbon availability for different plant organs competing for photosynthates. To understand and quantify carbon allocation among major sink organs following the early basal leaf removal, the effect of early basal defoliation was studied in Pinot noir grapevines. The experiment was performed in Michigan, a cool climate viticultural region, and three levels of defoliation were imposed at full bloom: (1) no leaves removed (DF-0); (2) six leaves removed from six basal nodes (DF-6); and (3) ten leaves removed from ten basal nodes (DF-10). A week after the defoliation treatment, 13C pulsing was executed to the defoliated shoots. Photosynthesis (Pn), carbon distribution, fruit set, vine performance and basic fruit composition were measured. LR treatments induced higher Pn when compared to LR-0. The highest 13C allocation (%) was recorded in the shoot apex of the LR-10 treatment and LR-10 had the lowest percentage of 13C transported to the cluster, with a reduced fruit set of about 60% when compared to LR-0. The severity of leaf removal reduced significantly fruit set and increased shoot apex sink strength at the expense of the cluster.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-5
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Carbon partitioning


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