Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department / School

Agronomy, Horticulture, and Plant Science

First Advisor

Anne Fennell


chilling fulfillment, Differential Gene Expression Analysis, Differential thermal analysis, Fruit quality, interspecific grape cultivars, Spur pruning


Grapevine (Vitis Vinifera), widely cultivated in the world and USA, is a significant and valuable fruit crop. After cold climate grapevine cultivars were released by breeding programs in the 1990s, the production of grapes expanded in the Northern cold climate region of the US. The objectives of this study were to test 1) freezing tolerance and chilling fulfillment, 2) the effect of pruning methods on yield and winter survival, and 3) transcriptomic changes in natural and controlled chilling conditions during chilling requirement fulfillment in cold climate grapevine cultivars. Pruning methods, spur (SP), short cane (SC), and spur plus short cane (SPSC), were tested on Brianna, Frontenac, La Crescent, and Marquette in three growing seasons. Bud viability, total cluster number, cluster weight, yield, and fruit quality (soluble solids, pH, and total acid) were evaluated on pruning treatments. Yield in all cultivars was lower in 2019 and 2020 than in 2018 due to severe winter cold. Results of this study indicate different pruning techniques in consideration with winter injury have a role to optimize each grape cultivar’s yield and fruit quality. Freezing tolerance was assessed by low temperature exotherms on dormant grapevine buds for three winter seasons. The correlation between freezing tolerance and the seven-day minimum temperatures preceding the freezing test was found significantly correlated. The freezing tolerance of Brianna, Frontenac gris, La Crescent, and Marquette was analyzed monthly from November to April. Marquette was the most freezing tolerant cultivar to extreme cold temperatures across three years. Chilling fulfillment was evaluated in natural and controlled chilling conditions for Brianna, Frontenac gris, La Crescent, and Marquette. Chilling fulfillment was monitored at 200-500, 501-700, 701- 900, and > 901 chilling hour periods in controlled and natural conditions. There were no differences in bud break status between natural and controlled (4 0C) conditions at the same chilling hours. Brianna which has been reported to be a slow acclimating cultivar exhibited faster deacclimation. Bud transcriptome changes were assessed during the transition from dormancy to ecodormancy in Marquette and Brianna during controlled (constant 4 0C in the dark) and natural field chilling. There were a greater number of differentially expressed genes at 1000 chilling hours in both controlled and natural chilling conditions. Auxin signaling and cell wall pathways were enriched in controlled chilling conditions while ethylene and jasmonate signaling pathways were enriched in natural field chilling conditions. Phenylpropanoid biosynthesis, photosynthesis, and plant-pathogen interaction pathways were enriched in both controlled and natural chilling conditions. There were more enriched pathways in natural field chilling than controlled chilling, which may have been influenced by natural light and fluctuating temperatures in the field.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Grapes -- Effect of freezes on.
Grapes -- Effect of cold on.
Grapes -- Frost resistance.
Gene expression.
Grapes -- Genetics.
Grapes -- Pruning.

Number of Pages



South Dakota State University



Rights Statement

In Copyright