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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Corvallis, Oregon » Horticultural Crops Research Unit » Research » Research Project #435798

Research Project: Improving the Quality of Grapes, Other Fruits, and their Products through Agricultural Management

Location: Horticultural Crops Research Unit

2019 Annual Report

Objective 1: Identify, develop, and define analysis techniques to evaluate primary and secondary metabolites of fruit, fruit products, and wine. [NP 305; C1, PS1B] Sub-objective 1.A. Determine quality indicator metabolites and analytical methods for their analysis; evaluate and optimize new methods where insufficient data exists. Sub-objective 1.B. Deploy quality component measurements to optimize agricultural practices targeted at improving product quality. Objective 2: Integrate canopy- and fruit-specific management practices in grapes and berries to enhance crop productivity and fruit quality. [NP 305; C1, PS1B] Sub-objective 2.A. Determine development of fruit quality parameters as driven by the interaction between temperature and the timing of temperature anomalies during critical periods of fruit development. Sub-objective 2.B. Quantify standard industry pruning methods for grapevines and develop formal pruning standards necessary to achieve targeted goals for canopy structure; evaluate efficacy of manual pruning and algorithm-driven mechanical systems to achieve canopy structure goals. Sub-objective 2.C. Define canopy and fruit temperature thresholds leading to reduced fruit marketability in drip-irrigated blueberry fields. Objective 3: Develop cultural management strategies that mitigate the impact of abiotic stresses (drought and cold) in winegrapes. [NP 305; C1, PS1B] Sub-objective 3.A. Determine how irrigation spatial delivery, frequency, and amount affect the photosynthesis, water use efficiency, crop load and berry maturity of winegrapes. Sub-objective 3.B. Determine the influence of seasonal water deficit on cold acclimation during bud dormancy in winegrapes.

Project objectives will be accomplished by integrating research across three core disciplines: food chemistry- phytochemical analysis, plant-microclimate interactions, and crop physiology. A systematic approach in targeted fruit quality compound analysis to predict the magnitude by which climate and cultural factors impact fruit quality components will be used. This approach will allow us to improve and define analytical methods for plant metabolite analysis that advance our comprehension of the relationships among canopy management, canopy microclimate, water management, and vine cold hardiness and their effects on fruit development, fruit quality components, and vine physiology. If weather interferes with experimental treatments and sampling, experiments will be adjusted and extended an additional growing season.

Progress Report
This report documents progress for this bridging project 2071-21000-052-00D, which began in November 2018 and continues research from project 2071-21000-047-00D, which is undergoing NP305 Office of Scientific Quality Review. Substantial progress was made in support of Objective 1. ARS scientists continued to research production systems of temperate fruit and nut crops for improvements that are profitable and sustainable. During the past year, ARS researchers investigated crop management practices that advance fruit and fruit product qualities. Specifically, the identification of viruses within Idaho commercial vineyards was the focus. Their identification was the first step towards constructing virus diagnostic tools tailored to the growing area that can be used to mitigate future losses from vine virus infection. Research on how specific vine viruses influence healthy fermentation and quality components is underway. ARS researchers were involved in establishing analytical method performance guidelines for the quantitation of phenolics in dietary supplements, applicable to raw materials (ingredients) and finished products for Echinacea species (coneflower) (Objective 1). Phenolic compounds (sometimes known as natural compounds, phytochemicals, or secondary metabolites) can be used as indicators of authenticity, quality, and safety in dietary supplements and foods. Examinations of acceptance criteria for analytical methods of (primary and secondary) metabolites, important in fruit quality and production, are underway. ARS researchers also continued to investigate new blackberry cultivar releases against commercially established blackberry cultivars, and how phenolic quality shaped comparisons (Objective 1). ARS researchers continued to examine changes in basil phenolic accumulation due to irrigation with low-grade water (salinity). Critical vacancies prevented progress related to Objectives 2 and 3.

1. A new grapevine leafroll associated virus-3 in Idaho. Some grapevine viruses are harmful to the U.S. wine grape industry, a $6 billion business. Some of these viruses are detrimental to grapevine health, crop load ratio, fruit characteristics, and ultimately to wine quality, while others cause only minor issues. ARS scientists in Parma, Idaho, and Corvallis, Oregon, with University of Idaho collaborators, conducted this research on grapevine viruses in collaboration with commercial Idaho grape growers. A novel genetic variant of GLRaV-3 (grapevine leafroll associated virus-3) was identified, sequenced, and newly named GLRaV-3-ID45, which was then used to develop a new method for detecting it. The development of reliable diagnostic tools will aid in protecting growers from GLRaV-3 losses.

2. Upholding Echinacea dietary supplement quality. The dietary supplement industry is valued at $122 billion. Guidelines for analytical methods for quality determinations are crucial in ensuring dietary supplement safety and ingredient authenticity. An ARS scientist at Parma, Idaho, with stakeholders representing industry, regulatory organizations, service laboratories, test kit manufacturers, and academic institutions, established method performance requirements for verifying Echinacea phenolic compounds in dietary ingredients and supplements. This effort provides a valuable authentication tool for protecting consumers and aids the supplement industry in creating high quality products.

Review Publications
Finn, C.E., Strik, B., Yorgey, B., Peterson, M.E., Jones, P., Lee, J., Bassil, N.V., Martin, R.R. 2019. ‘Hall’s Beauty’ thornless trailing blackberry. HortScience. 54(2):371-376.
Scagel, C.F., Lee, J., Mitchell, J.N. 2019. Salinity from NaCl changes the nutrient and polyphenolic composition of basil leaves. Industrial Crops and Products. 127:119-128.
Gafner, S., Bzhelyansky, A., He, K., Horkey, A., Coskun, S.H., Johnson, H., Kuszak, A., Lee, J., Phillips, T., Reif, K., Rimmer, C., Sullivan, D., Solyom, A., Szpylka, J., Travis, J., Yang, J., Zielinkski, G., Coates, S. 2018. Standard Method Performance Requirements (SMPRs) 2017.015: Determination of phenolic compounds in dietary supplements and dietary ingredients containing Echinacea. Journal of AOAC International. 101:315-318.
Thompson, B.D., Dahan, J., Lee, J., Martin, R.R., Karasev, A.V. 2019. A novel genetic variant of grapevine leafroll-associated virus-3 (GLRaV-3) from Idaho grapevines. Plant Disease. 103:509-518.
Shellie, K. 2019. Comparison of sustained deficit and pre- and postveraison regulated deficit irrigation on Malbec and Syrah grapevines. American Journal of Enology and Viticulture. 70:382-389.