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Best research work in the area of wine growing


Researchers in the Department of Agricultural Production at the Public University of Navarra have been awarded the prize for the best research in the area of viticulture. The presentation took place at the V Iberian Congress of Horticultural Science recently held in Oporto (Portugal). The awarded work, entitled “Recovery of photosynthetic activity in 4 grape varieties after a hydric stress event”, studied the response to the hydric stress event of the grape, in order to enable suitable land irrigation policies to be made and actions carried out while taking into account the peculiarities of each variety.

In concrete, at the Congress, the group received the “Amândio Galhano Prize", awarded by the Vinos Verdes Region Viticulture Commission.

The V Iberian Congress of Horticultural Science brought together researchers and experts over a number of days to debate current horticultural topics. Amongst other aspects discussed were themes such as food quality and safety, conservation and use of horticultural biodiversity, conservation of the environment, technology transference and interchange, as well as current tendencies of consumption, that determine the quality of production, transformation and commercialisation of horticultural products.

Response to hydric stress

The communiqué from the researchers at the Public University of Navarra dealt with the theme of the response of a determined species or variety to the hydric stress. A response that is usually studied by evaluating the effect after a period of stress, of greater or lesser intensity and duration, on the physiological activity of the variety. Nevertheless, the researchers pointed out, “this model of study does not fit in well with the conditions that are produced on the land, where periods of stress alternate with others of recuperation through irrigation or rainfall”.

The communiqué continues, “the level of recovery of the photosynthetic activity is evaluated once the irrigation of the four grape varieties was renewed”. Plants grown in inclement weather conditions and where irrigation was suspended in mid-June were used for the study. The progression of the hydric deficit in each plant was assessed by means of the daily measurement of the hydric potential before dawn and, when a plant reached the stress interval, it was irrigated immediately. After two or four days after the recovery irrigation, the gaseous interchange was measured, comparing it with plants that had not suffered stress.

From their results the researchers deduced that “the occurrence of a period of hydric stress modifies the hydric relations of the grapevine even when irrigation had been re-established”. This effect confirms, “it is not the same in all the varieties and so it would be of great interest to research further into this aspect of the hydric relations of the grapevine in order to adjust irrigation policies on the land to the peculiarities of each variety”.

Garazi Andonegi | alfa
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