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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Breeding Rootstocks Resistant to Aggressive Root-Knot Nematodes

Location: Grape Genetics Research

2013 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
To breed, evaluate, and introduce rootstocks that are resistant to aggressive root-knot nematodes, resulting in improved varieties with adaptation to California viticulture. To achieve this objective, we will evaluate the root-knot nematode resistance of 4,000 grape rootstock seedlings and select resistant seedlings for advancement to the field, evaluate the rooting ability of 150 rootstock selections and confirm nematode resistance of easily rooted selections, and enter 11 easily rooted nematode resistance confirmed selections into a replicated rootstock trial.


1b.Approach (from AD-416):
The proposed work is breeding grapevine rootstocks resistant to aggressive virulent root-knot nematode (Meloidogyne species) populations. Grapevine rootstock germplasm will be screened for resistance to aggressive virulent root-knot nematodes, crosses made, and resistant seedling selections identified through screening. Resistant seedlings will be tested for propagation ability and nematode resistance confirmed through replicated plant testing.


3.Progress Report:

We screened candidate grape rootstock seedlings for resistance to aggressive root-knot nematodes. We select only those seedlings which completely suppress nematode reproduction and show zero nematode egg masses. Selected seedlings are propagated and then planted into the vineyard. We tested the propagation ability of 168 selections (already tested once for nematode resistance). We also screened a population, which also is qualified for consideration as rootstocks, for nematode resistance marker development. We evaluated 22 selections, grafted to Syrah, in replicated rootstock trials at the University of California Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center. We pollinated 661 clusters of crosses in more than 60 unique combinations specifically aimed at the breeding of improved rootstocks with resistance to aggressive root-knot nematodes and collected rootstock cross seeds. Matador, Minotaur, and Kingfisher rootstocks, released by this USDA ARS grape rootstock breeding program in 2010, are being distributed by Foundation Plant Services and planted by California nurseries.


Last Modified: 9/20/2014
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