Pattern of berry K accumulation

Potassium is the principal cation accumulated by the berry during the entire growth period (pre- and post-veraison) (Conradie 1981, Possner and Kliewer 1985, Doneche and Chardonnet 1992, Schaller et al. 1992, Creasy et al. 1993, Boselli et al. 1995) with a sharp increase at the onset of ripening (Ollat and Gaudillere 1996, Rogiers et al. 2001, 2006a,b); also, the accumulation of K+ in the berry seems to be linked to the accumulation of fruit dry matter and flesh weight in relation to plant water status (Fig. 3a). K+ is the principal osmotically active cation in the berry's phloem and would appear to contribute to the flow of phloem sap (loading of soluble sugars), thus helping to establish an osmotic gradient between the leaves (source) and the berries (sink) (Very and Sentenac 2003).

In contrast to these findings, a decrease in the concentration of K+ per dry matter (mg.g-1 DW) was found for both situations of vine water status during

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