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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Parlier, California » San Joaquin Valley Agricultural Sciences Center » Crop Diseases, Pests and Genetics Research » Research » Research Project #443663

Research Project: Completing the Grapevine Powdery Mildew Resistance Pipeline: From Genes-on-the-Shelf to Sticks-in-the-Ground

Location: Crop Diseases, Pests and Genetics Research

Project Number: 2034-21220-008-002-R
Project Type: Reimbursable Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Oct 1, 2022
End Date: Aug 31, 2024

1) Genes on the shelf. Identify and characterize powdery mildew resistance genes. 2) Tools in the toolbox. Provide breeders genomics tools and field-based, computer vision (CV) phenotyping platform for powdery mildew (PM) and key visible traits. 3) Resistant sticks in the ground. Develop resistant varieties and provide growers with best practices for disease management. 4) Grapes on the table. Understand consumer behaviors related to the purchase of sustainably grown varieties.

The USDA-ARS role in the following focuses on using the tools provided in Objective 2 to enhance our understanding of powdery mildew resistance genotypes and phenotypes in our repositories (Objective 1: allelic diversity) and breeding programs (Objective 3: screen breeding lines). 1) Test candidate genes and explore allelic diversity in Vitis to confirm gene function and develop perfect DNA markers for routine use in breeding programs. Combine resistance genes and maximize universal defense pathways for durable deployment in new cultivars. Hypotheses: a) Candidate genes can be identified and refined through genomics tools. b) Resistance gene function is most simply observed by measuring phenotypes resulting from knock-outs, generated through gene editing. c) Defense responses have universal pathways that can result in broad-spectrum resistance via gene editing. 2) Deploy a field-based, computer vision (CV) phenotyping platform for PM and key visible traits to U.S. grape breeders. Continue to support genomics tools and marker utilization for breeders and genetics research. Hypotheses: a) CV will improve phenotype prediction over current categorical rating scales. b) Genome-wide DNA markers will accelerate trait introgression from wild Vitis and enrich research discoveries and transferability. 3) Develop and implement a strategic nation-wide extension program that trains vineyard managers on best practices to maintain resistance in new plantings. Develop and screen breeding lines for resistance, fruit quality, and regionally important traits. Hypotheses: a) Early detection of virulent outbreaks in new plantings of resistant cultivars will help target pesticides to maintain deployed resistance with a 90% reduction in inputs. b) Implementing tools (2a & b) will lead to gene discovery and new elite, resistant cultivars. 4) New variety adoption is consumer-driven across all grape and wine sectors. Mature markets limit adoption despite a need for sustainable varieties. Hypotheses: a) Consumer information overloading contributes to purchasing behaviors. b) Eye-tracking can be used to determine which features on product labels are important for alerting consumers to sustainably produced products from resistant cultivars.