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Urea is a non‐electrically charged nitrogen (N) molecule suitable for foliar application, since it easily penetrates the epicuticular waxes and the cutin layer of leaves. Several field trials have been conducted to understand how foliar application of urea to grapevines may affect yield and grape composition compared to other N fertilisers. The effectiveness of foliar application of urea to change the flavour components of grapes depends on the N status of the grapevines related to crop load and the timing of the foliar application, which could also play a key role in basal bud fertility and stored N reserves. The application of foliar urea to grapevines may affect the concentration of N, volatile compounds, and phenolic substances in grapes without influencing yield and its components in the short term. During alcoholic fermentation, grape N concentration favours the production of non‐volatile and volatile compounds that affect wine attributes, aroma, bitterness, and astringency. Other N‐compounds such as biogenic amines may also be formed in wines which can be toxic to the consumer. Gene expression related to grapevine N metabolism and the identification of putative chemical markers in red and white wines after foliar N application deserves further investigation. This review aimed to evaluate the factors involved in N uptake by leaves after foliar urea fertilisation, to summarise effects on grapevine yield components and grape composition and to provide also research options for future studies in this area.
Australian Journal of Grape and Wine Research – Wiley
Published: Jan 1, 2022
Keywords: amino acids; N distribution; N uptake; phenolic substances; volatile compounds
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