The rapid production of small fruiting grapevines under controlled environmental conditions is an invaluable tool for viticulture research, particularly studies involving flowering, fruit set, and berry development. The objective of this study was to determine an optimal growth strategy to produce experimental grapevine plants with adequate and consistent reproductive performance and to fully describe the approach to allow other researchers to produce consistent material from controlled environments year-round. Three different nutrient regimes were used to grow Shiraz (Vitis vinifera L.) plants from one-year-old cuttings in perlite:vermiculite and under controlled environmental conditions. Percentage fruit set, Coulure index, and Millerandage index were determined. The growth strategy produced a fruit set percentage >50% (in Shiraz) and optimum leaf elemental concentrations. These modifications to the Mullins and Rajasekaran (1981) method, including automated irrigation, improve the assessment and manipulation of grapevine reproductive performance and vine physiology in controlled conditions and highlight the importance of knowing how growth medium contributes to the nutrient status and hence growth of experimental grapevine plants.
- small fruiting experimental grapevines
- controlled environmental conditions
- reproductive performance
- nutrient regime
- ©2014 by the American Society for Enology and Viticulture