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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Ithaca, New York » Robert W. Holley Center for Agriculture & Health » Plant, Soil and Nutrition Research » Research » Research Project #445430

Research Project: Elucidating the Grape Malate Tonoplast Transporter: A Targeted Approach for Controlling Fruit & Wine Acidity & Improving Grapevine Tolerance

Location: Plant, Soil and Nutrition Research

Project Number: 8062-21000-049-004-R
Project Type: Reimbursable Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Oct 1, 2023
End Date: Sep 30, 2026

Fruit quality/acidity is determined by tissue levels of organic acids (OA), particularly malate. The Aluminum-activated Malate Transporters (ALMT) family of anion is known to mediate the transport of OA in plant tissue, in response to abiotic stress, as well as ion homeostasis in plants. One member, ALMT9, has been shown to be a determinant of apple fruit acidity. In the present project evaluates the role the hologue grape ALMT plays in determining the grape fruit quality. The functional comparison between various ALMT alleles will provide an understanding of the function-structure relation of the transporter, as well as aid in the design of markers for future molecular breeding efforts.

Complementary biophysical (electrophysicological) and molecular biology approaches will allow the characterization of the expression levels, cellular localization, and functional characteristics of the anion channels involved in fruit malate - organic acid content, and thereby fruit pH levels. The PI and collaborator complement the expertise in the molecular and electrophysiological aspects of the project.