Assistant Professor, Wine Research Centre



My research focuses on viticulture and grapevine physiology. Particularly, it considers the physiological and molecular aspects that underlay fruit ripening and the biosynthesis of secondary metabolites, and how they are modulated by the environment and viticultural practices.

My laboratory currently uses a multidisciplinary approach that combines field and greenhouse experiments and targeted and untargeted analysis of metabolites and transcripts.

The laboratory has a robust partnership with top scientists in the field of viticulture, grapevine physiology and applied genomics in North America and Europe.

My research is shaped by my agriculture-oriented background and considers those aspects of grapevine physiology that are relevant for improving fruit quality in vineyards.

Castellarin Lab Page


Some recent and forthcoming research projects are:

  • Characterization of molecular and physiological mechanisms that activate and modulate fruit ripening in grapevine
  • Analysis of the genetic and environmental control of secondary metabolites in grapevine
  • Analysis of the effect of water deficit on fruit physiology in white and red grapevine varieties
  • Analysis of the effect of canopy management techniques on fruit physiology and wine quality

I am interested in working with undergraduate students, graduate students and postdocs with strong interest in molecular viticulture and with outstanding training in one or more of the following subjects: plant molecular biology, genomics, bioinformatics, plant physiology and viticulture



  • APBI 490 101 – Grapevine and Berry Crop Biology

Selected Publications

Herrera JC, Castellarin SD (2016) Pre-Veraison water deficit accelerates berry color change in Merlot grapevines. American Journal of Enology and Viticulture. Accepted

Giordano D, Provenzano S, Ferrandino A, Vitali M, Pagliarani C, RomanF, Cardinale F, Castellarin SD, Andrea Schubert A (2016) Characterization of a multifuctional caffeoyl-CoA methyltransferase activated in grape berries upon drought stress. Plant Physiology and Biochemistry. Accepted

Mosetti D, Herrera JC, Sabbatini P, Green A, Alberti A, Peterlunger E, Lisjak K, Castellarin SD (2016) Impact of leaf removal after berry set on fruit composition and bunch rot in Sauvignon blanc. Vitis. Accepted

Castellarin SD, Gambetta GA, Wada H, Krasnow MN, Cramer GR, Peterlunger E, Shackel KA, Matthews MA (2016) Characterization of major ripening events during softening in grape: turgor, sugar accumulation, abscisic acid metabolism, colour development, and their relationship with growth. Journal of Experimental Botany, 63(3), 709-722

Herrera JC, Bucchetti B, Comuzzo P, Zulini L, Vecchione A, Sabbatini P, Peterlunger E, Castellarin SD (2015) Effect of water deficit and canopy management on the composition of Vitis vinifera L. ‘Merlot’ grapes and wines. Australian Journal of Grape and Wine Research, 21(2), 254-265

Zhuang S, Tozzini T, Green A, Acimovic A, Howell GS, Castellarin SD, Sabbatini P (2014) Achieving targeted quality and yield via cluster thinning and basal leaf removal in Cabernet Franc (Vitis vinifera L.) grapevines grown in cool climate conditions. HortScience, 49(6),750-756

Teixeira A, Eiras-Dias J, Castellarin SD, Gerós H (2013) Berry phenolics of grapevine under challenging environments. International Journal of Molecular Science. 14(9):18711-187139

Falginella L, Di Gaspero G, Castellarin SD (2012) Expression of flavonoid genes in the red grape berry of ‘Alicante Bouschet’ varies with the histological distribution of anthocyanins and their chemical composition. Planta. 236(4):1037-1051

Di Gaspero G, Copetti D, Coleman C, Castellarin SD, Eibach R, Kozma P, Lacombe T, Gambetta G, Zvyagin A, Cindrić P, Kovács L, Morgante M, Testolin R (2012) Selective sweep at the Rpv3 locus during grapevine breeding for downy mildew resistance. Theoretical and Applied Genetics. 124(2):277-286

Casagrande K, Falginella L, Castellarin SD, Di Gaspero G (2011) Defence responses in Rpv3-dependent resistance to grapevine downy mildew. Planta. 234:1097-1109

Castellarin SD, Gambetta GA, Wada H, Shackel KA, Matthews MA (2011) Fruit ripening in Vitis vinifera: spatiotemporal relationships among turgor, sugar accumulation, and anthocyanin biosynthesis. Journal of Experimental Botany. 62:4345-4354

Bucchetti B, Matthews MA, Falginella L, Peterlunger E, Castellarin SD (2011) Effect of water deficit on Merlot grape tannins and anthocyanins across four seasons. Scientia Horticulturae. 128:297-305

Falginella L, Castellarin SD, Testolin R, Gambetta GA, Morgante M, Di Gaspero G (2010) Expansion and subfunctionalisation of flavonoid 3′,5′-hydroxylases in the grapevine lineage. BMC Genomics. 11:562

Gambetta GA, Matthews MA, Shaghasi TH, McElrone AJ, Castellarin SD (2010) Sugar and abscisic acid signaling orthologs are activated at the onset of ripening in grape. Planta. 232(1):219-234

Castellarin SD, Bucchetti B, Falginella L, Peterlunger E (2010) Impact of water deficit on fruit quality: physiological and molecular aspects (Article in Italian). Italus Hortus, 18:63-79

Castellarin SD, Pfeiffer A, Sivilotti P, Degan M, Peterlunger E, Di Gaspero G (2007) Transcriptional regulation of anthocyanin biosynthesis in ripening fruits of grapevine under seasonal water deficit. Plant, Cell & Environment. 30:1381-1399

Castellarin SD, Matthews MA, Di Gaspero G, Gambetta GA (2007) Applied water deficits accelerate ripening and induce changes in gene expression regulating flavonoid biosynthesis in grapevine. Planta 227(1):101-112

Castellarin SD, Di Gaspero G (2007) Regulation of the anthocyanin biosynthetic pathway in naturally occurring extreme phenotypes for red berry colour of Vitis vinifera. BMC Plant Biology 7:46

Castellarin SD, Di Gaspero G, Marconi R, Nonis A, Peterlunger E, Paillard S, Adam-Blondon AF, Testolin R (2006) Structure of flavonoid 3′-hydroxylase and flavonoid 3′,5′ hydroxylase genes in grape (Vitis vinifera) and their expression profile in berry skin accumulating cyanidin- and delphinidin-based anthocyanins. BMC Genomics 7:12

Back to top

Food, Nutrition and Health Building Room 211
2205 East Mall
Vancouver, V6T 1Z4
phone: 6048272667