Changes in cell-wall polysaccharides from the mesocarp of grape berries during veraison

Hiroshi Yakushiji, Naoki Sakurai, Kunihisa Morinaga

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61 Citations (Scopus)


Softening of grape berries (Vitis vinifera L. x V. labrusca L. cv. Kyoho) was evaluated by studying changes in composition and degradation of cell-wall polysaccharides. The grape berry softens at the beginning of the second growth cycle many weeks before harvest. The softening stage is called 'veraison' by viticulturists. On day 50 after full bloom, green hard berries (before veraison [BV]), softening berries (veraison [V]) and partly peel colored berries (C) were selected from the same clusters. In addition, mature berries (M) were collected on day 78 after full bloom. Mesocarp tissues at each stage were fractionated into hot water-soluble (WS), hot EDTA-soluble (pectin), alkali-soluble (hemicellulose) and residual (cellulose) fractions. Neutral and acidic sugar contents of WS and pectin fractions decreased only after the V stage, while the neutral sugar content of the hemicellulose fraction decreased from the BV to V stages. Cellulose content constantly decreased as the berry ripened, but the large decrease was found from the BV to V stages. Molecular masses of pectic and hemicellulosic polysaccharides decreased from the BV to V stages. Hemicellulosic xyloglucan was markedly depolymerized from the BV to V stages. The neutral and acidic sugar composition of each fraction changed little during the berry ripening. These data indicated that softening of berry during veraison involved the depolymerization of pectin and xyloglucan molecules and decrease in the amounts of hemicellulose and cellulose.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)188-195
Number of pages8
JournalPhysiologia Plantarum
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Genetics
  • Plant Science
  • Cell Biology


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