Plants respond to external triggers like biotic and abiotic stresses by changing their physiology, biochemistry and morphology. The Stress Physiology group analyzes these responses on the transcriptional, metabolomical and physiological level.
Astrid Forneck is the leading expert in Grape-Phylloxera interaction. Aphids affect the plant’s metabolism significantly when feeding by inducing galls on the vine. Against this background, the major fields of study in this group comprise
- understanding the plant based responses affecting primary and secondary metabolism
- the sink-source allocation and carbohydrate partitioning in the grapevine
- understanding signaling between rootstock and scions are
- gaining insight about the aphids’ effectors
- defining aggressivity of the phylloxera strains
- screening of European grapevine populations in terms of population dynamics
- host plant adaptation and aggressivity
In close cooperation with growers, nurseries and the international grapevine rootstock community, new management strategies are developed to adapt strategies for phylloxerated vineyard that are affected by abiotic stresses (e.g. drought, salt).
The physiological ripening disorder Berry Shrivel (Traubenwelke) is a severe economic problem for viticulture in Austria, mainly affecting the cultivar Zweigelt. The causes of shrinking berries with low sugar content and high acidity after veraison are yet unknown. Michaela Griesser aims to understand the causes of this physiological disease by analyzing cell wall physiology and morphology of the rachis, sugar and nutrient transport mechanisms towards berries and the regulation by phytohormons. To provide a solid base of understanding, the effects on the fruit physiology of grapevine, the sink-source allocation of vines affected with abiotic stresses are studied, deploying physiological, metabolimical and transcriptional means in field and controlled conditions. This is important as many vineyard management practices are in use without comprehensive knowledge of their implications on plant physiology in detail.
Contact: Univ.Prof. Astrid Forneck, Dr. Michaela Griesser
Further information: www.dnw.boku.ac.at/en/wob/