Aroma is one of the most important indicators of grape quality. Girdling and foliar fertilization with K (K2 O) are common agronomic practices applied to improve berry quality in grape production. However, little is known about its effect on the accumulation and biosynthesis of the entire aromatic profile. Our study was aimed to explore the influences of girdling and foliar fertilization with K (alone or in combination) on the general properties, phenolic composition, volatile free aroma compounds, spatial and temporal expression of terpene-related genes and sensory properties in ‘Hanxiangmi’ table grape. In this study, we found that girdling and foliar fertilization with K (alone or in combination) facilitated fruit enlargement and increased the accumulation of phenolic compounds in skin. The combination treatment of girdling and foliar fertilization with K significantly promoted the concentrations of total soluble solids (TSS) in the pulp and proanthocyanidins in the berry skin, and had a lower titratable acidity (TA) compared to those of the control. In contrast, girdling treatment alone increased the concentrations of titratable acidity. Volatile free aroma composition analysis revealed that the combination treatment increased the volatile compounds and concentrations significantly, most notably in terpenes, such as nerol, citronellol and linalool. Spatial and temporal expression analysis showed that the expression level of VvDXS was significantly correlated with linalool and total terpenes concentrations, as a result of which, we speculated that VvDXS is the candidate gene for the regulation of important grape terpenes. We hope that our results can direct farmers to better apply girdling and foliar fertilization with K in grape production.
- foliar fertilization with potassium