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Article|28 Mar 2023|OPEN
Dissecting the effect of soil on plant phenology and berry transcriptional plasticity in two Italian grapevine varieties (Vitis vinifera L.).
Alessandro Vannozzi1 , , Corrado Perin1 , Fabio Palumbo1 , Marco Sandri2 , Paola Zuccolotto3 , Sara Zenoni4 , Silvia Farinati1 , Gianni Barcaccia1 , Massimo Pindo4 , Paolo Sonego4 , Alessandro Cestaro4 and Margherita Lucchin,1
1Department of Agronomy, Food, Natural resources, Animals and Environment (DAFNAE), University of Padova Agripolis, 35020 Legnaro, Italy
2Department of biotechnology, University of Verona, I-37034, Verona, Italy
3Big&Open Data Innovation Laboratory, University of Brescia, 25122 Brescia, Italy
4Research and Innovation Centre, Fondazione Edmund Mach, via E. Mach 1, 38010, San Michele all’Adige, Italy
*Corresponding author. E-mail:

Horticulture Research 10,
Article number: uhad056 (2023)
Views: 176

Received: 25 Oct 2022
Accepted: 23 Mar 2023
Published online: 28 Mar 2023


Grapevine embodies a fascinating species as regards phenotypic plasticity and genotype-per-environment interactions. The terroir, namely the set of agri-environmental factors to which a variety is subjected, can influence the phenotype at the physiological, molecular, and biochemical level, representing an important phenomenon connected to the typicality of productions. We investigated the determinants of plasticity by conducting a field-experiment where all terroir variables, except soil, were kept as constant as possible. We isolated the effect of soils collected from different areas, on phenology, physiology, and transcriptional responses of skin and flesh of a red and a white variety of great economic value: Corvina and Glera. Molecular results, together with physio-phenological parameters, suggest a specific effect of soil on grapevine plastic response, highlighting a higher transcriptional plasticity of Glera in respect to Corvina and a marked response of skin compared to flesh. Using a novel statistical approach, we identified clusters of plastic genes subjected to the specific influence of soil. These findings could represent an issue of applicative value, posing the basis for targeted agricultural practices to enhance the desired characteristics for any soil/cultivar combination, to improve vineyards management for a better resource usage and to valorize vineyards uniqueness maximizing the terroir-effect.