Grape ripening is thought to be ethylene independent. However, Cabernet Sauvignon berries that were treated with 1-methylcyclopropene, a specific inhibitor of ethylene receptors, accumulated less sucrose than did controls over the following three weeks. This decreased sucrose accumulation was associated with a decreased RNA accumulation of two sucrose transporters (SUC11 and SUC12), whose expression is triggered at veraison when grape berries start to accumulate sugars. This preliminary study was performed over two consecutive years and suggests that the role of ethylene in grape ripening needs to be reconsidered and that it could be related to sugar accumulation.
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