Month: August 2012

Automated Infrared thermography analysis available as part of the VoF

A paper has been published in the Irrigation Science Journal that describes the development of a semi-automated and automated methodology for IR thermal image acquisition and analysis using programming techniques in MATLAB. The paper also includes a discussion of potential use of infrared thermal images for early detection of diseases.

Fuentes, S., De Bei, R. Pech, J., Tyerman, S. 2012. Computational water stress indices obtained from thermal image analysis of grapevine canopies. Irrigation Science. DOI: 10.1007/s00271-012-0375-8.

Link to the paper: IR Thermo Fuentes

Related paper: Fuentes S., Kelley G., Collins J., Rogers G., Conroy J. 2005. Use of Infrared Thermography to Assess Spatial and Temporal Variability of Stomatal Conductance of Grapevines Under Partial Root-zone Drying. An Irrigation Scheduling Application. Acta Horticulturae (ISHS) 689:309-316.

Shiraz: The biggest loser (or not)?

One of the aims of the VoF project is to investigate the effects of climate change on berry shrivel and berry cell death. Specifically due to predicted night-time temperatures increasing at a higher rate compared to diurnal temperatures, which might exacerbate this phenomena.

Cell death in winegrape berries may be a double-edged sword! It can be correlated with berry shrinkage but also related to flavour and sugar concentration. This article looks at shiraz, chardonnay and sultana berries, in terms of cell death and shrinkage.

Cell death occurs in pre-harvest berries of chardonnay and shiraz but not sultana. However, only shiraz consistently shrinks. This concentrates sugar and can lead to high alcohol wines. Shiraz is shown to be the ‘biggest loser’ in terms of weight loss but the flavour development and sugar concentration aspects are the other side of the double-edged sword.

Paper: Is the shiraz berry the biggest loser? The double-edged sword of cell death in winegrapesProfessor Steve Tyerman, Dr Sigfredo Fuentes, Dr Cassandra Collins and Dr Sue Bastian. August edition 2012 of Australian and New Zealand Grapegrower and Winemaker. 

Link to paper: Cell Death_Steve D. Tyerman

Figures:Cell death study using FDA (fluorescein diacetate). Images taken under microscope for Chardonnay, Shiraz and Sultana berries. Living tissue in mesocarp of berries corresponds to bright sections (fluorescence).

The Vineyard of The Future presented at The University of Talca (Chile)

Dr Sigfredo Fuentes presented a seminar to pre-graduate, post-graduate students and growers entitled: “The Vineyard of The Future: A Fully Instrumented Vineyard for Climate Change Research” (27th June 2012)

In the picture from left to right: Dr Carlos Poblete; Dr Cesar Acevedo; Dr Sigfredo Fuentes; Prof. Samuel Ortega and Dr Hector Valdez.

Full link to the article in Spanish:

Addressing wine industry challenges: Fine-tuning irrigation scheduling using Near Infrared (NIR) spectroscopy

Dr Roberta De Bei and Dr Sigfredo Fuentes

Project financed by Wine 2030 (The University of Adelaide)

Water scarcity will continue to be an issue in Australia in a future climate change scenario. Improving water use efficiency by grapevines by developing new irrigation techniques and by improving irrigation scheduling will help the wine industry to face the issues of water shortage and climactic anomalies (heat waves). Near infrared (NIR) spectroscopy has proven to be effective in obtaining stem water potential (Ψs) measurements for grapevines, which is regarded as one of the most integrative measures of the whole-plant water status according to soil-plant-atmosphere conditions (De Bei et al. 2011). In this project Dr De Bei and Dr Fuentes will implement this technique to generate and make available site-specific calibration curves of NIR / Ψs to be used by the wine industry for precision irrigation. Furthermore, critical thresholds to fine tune irrigation scheduling will be obtained relying on vine physiology (water potential and NIR) rather than indirect methods, such as soil moisture or weather data.

Testing of this new technique will be implemented as part of the Vineyard of the Future initiative from the University of Adelaide, which will be a fully integrated monitored and logged vineyard dedicated as a test-bed for innovations in climate change adaptation.

A paper presenting results from the NIR technique, in the context of the VoF, was presented at the 7th International Symposium on Irrigation of Horticultural Crops (Geisenheim) by Dr Roberta De Bei, Dr Sigfredo Fuentes and Prof. Steve Tyerman. (See picture below)

Related publication:

De Bei, R., Cozzolino, D., Sullivan, W., Cynkar, W., Fuentes, S., Dambergs, R., Pech, J., Tyerman, S. 2011. Non-Destructive Measurement of Grapevine Water Potential Using Near Infrared Spectroscopy. Australian Journal of Grape and Wine Research. 17(1):62-71.