Rose or strawberry: why grape aromas vary

Recently, the grape genetic breeding team of the Zhengzhou Institute of Pomology of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences published a research paper in the journal BMC Plant Biology.

The flavor of grape fruit is composed of a variety of quality traits such as sweet, sour, astringent and aroma, of which aroma is an important part of measuring fruit quality and is the hallmark characteristic of fruit. The synthesis of aroma substances is affected by multiple factors, and variety attributes are one of the most important factors.

Photo courtesy of Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences

To this end, the team used the grapes “sunshine rose”, “rose fragrance” and “seedless white chicken heart” with rose aroma, “summer black” with strawberry aroma type and neutral fragrant grape “Victoria” as test materials, and measured the skin and pulp of grapes by SPEM-GC-MS technology.

Volatile organic compounds were measured two weeks before ripening, during ripening and two weeks after ripening. The results showed that the aroma composition and content in the grape skin were significantly higher than those in the pulp.

Gerananiol, geraniol, and linalool are the main contributors to aroma in rose-scented grapes; Diisobutyl phthalate, citronellol and phenethyl ethanol are the main contributors to aromas in strawberry-scented grapes.

Transcriptome sequencing of ripe grape peels revealed that there were 224 differentially expressed genes between strawberry aroma and neutral fragrance, and between rose fragrance and neutral fragrance. Combining their expression differential multiples and previous research reports, the study screened 20 differentially expressed genes and identified their expression amounts.

The differentially expressed genes screened in this study laid the foundation for further research on volatile substances in grapes, and provided new insights into the regulation of different aromas in grapes.

The research was specially funded by the innovation project of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, the modern agricultural industrial technology system, and the basic scientific research business funds of the central public welfare scientific research institutes. Liu Sanjun, a researcher at Zheng Guo Institute, is the corresponding author. (Source: Li Chen, China Science News)

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