Malate is accumulated in grape pericarp until the start of ripening and then it is dissimilated. One aim of this study was to determine if the potential contribution of stored malate to the substrate requirements of metabolism in ripening grape pericarp is dependent on the cultivar. Two Vitis vinifera L. cultivars which accumulated different amounts of malate and had ripening periods of a different length were compared. The potential contribution of stored malate over the whole period of ripening was around 20 % in the cv. Sagrantino and 29 % in the cv. Pinot Noir. The contribution was higher in Pinot Noir because it contained more malate and had a shorter ripening period. A second aim of this study was to evaluate the contribution of gluconeogenesis to the amount of sugar accumulated in the pericarp. If all the dissimilated malate was utilized by gluconeogenesis, then the maximum contribution of stored malate to the total amount of sugar accumulated in the pericarp over the whole period of ripening was around 2.4 % in Sagrantino and 2.9 % in Pinot Noir. However, the actual contribution was only about 0.1–0.6 % in both cultivars because the majority of stored malate was not utilized by gluconeogenesis. However, it is likely that the actual contribution is much lower. This suggests that the function of gluconeogenesis is not to support accumulation of sugars in the fruits, but probably it plays other roles.
- Plant Science
- Vitis vinifera