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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Geneva, New York » Grape Genetics Research Unit (GGRU) » Research » Research Project #445254

Research Project: Genetic Improvement of Grape Quality and Adaptation to Diseases and Abiotic Stress

Location: Grape Genetics Research Unit (GGRU)

Project Number: 8060-21220-008-000-D
Project Type: In-House Appropriated

Start Date: Apr 1, 2023
End Date: Mar 31, 2028

Objective 1: Characterize the genetics of host-pathogen interactions as they relate to grapevine disease management, with primary emphasis on PM and DM. Sub-objective 1A: Fine map and functionally test candidate genes for resistance to grapevine PM. Sub-objective 1B: Develop germplasm, markers, and mechanistic data useful for breeders interested in resistance to grapevine DM. Objective 2. Characterize the genetics of grapevine abiotic stress responses and physiology, focused on adaptation to grape production in challenging environments including increased tolerance for low-temperature injury, short growing seasons, water availability, soil pH, and/or excessive heat. Sub-objective 2A: Elucidate the inter-related physiological basis of abiotic stress response in grapevine and develop a rigorous set of phenotypes for multi-stress trait analysis. Sub-objective 2B: Determine the genetic architecture of winter survival mechanisms in grapevine through genetic mapping, gene expression, and candidate gene studies. Objective 3. Develop and apply gene editing and other biotechnologies for improved grape quality and adaptation to diseases and abiotic stresses. Sub-objective 3A. Accelerate genetic discovery and functional genomic research through gene editing. Sub-objective 3B. Improve traits in elite grape varieties through gene editing.

This project applies a core set of genetic, genomic, physiological and breeding technologies and approaches for gene discovery, trait characterization, and germplasm development of disease resistance, stress tolerance, and fruit quality. The work involves identification of germplasm divergent in the trait of interest, development of mapping families or similar genetic resources for genetic dissection of the traits, genetic mapping of candidate genes or QTLs underlying the traits, and validation of candidates genes through transformation technologies. The research will be facilitated by using cutting-edge genomic, computational and biotechnological tools such as de novo genome assembly and/or high throughput gene expression studies, digital imaging and gene editing. Discoveries will be published and impact achieved through release of improved germplasm, DNA markers, and protocols for trait evaluation and further genetic improvement.