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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Geneva, New York » Grape Genetics Research Unit (GGRU) » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #219061

Title: Grapes

item Owens, Christopher

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/12/2008
Publication Date: 7/15/2008
Citation: Owens, C.L. 2008. Grapes. in Breeding Temperate Fruit Crops: Germplasm to Genomcis, Hancock, J.F. (ed.) Kluwver Academic Publishers.

Interpretive Summary: This book chapter is a review of current literature related to all aspects of grape genetics and breeding, particularly research conducted since 1995. The most recent publication that addresses a similar topic area was published in 1995, the three volume set entitled ‘Fruit Breeding’ edited by J. Janick and J. Moore. Since 1995 there has been a revolutionary change in the genetic and genomics tools available to grape researchers and advances in the field required a thorough update of our current understanding of grape genetics and breeding. Topics covered in this book chapter include: evolutionary biology and germplasm resources, history of scion and rootstock cultivar improvement, modern breeding efforts, genetics of important traits, resistance to abiotic stress, crossing and evaluation techniques, and biotechnological approaches to genetic improvement.

Technical Abstract: Grape is a major crop worldwide in which production is primarily driven by the ability to grow high-quality fruit. The majority of the fruit is processed into wine, but significant portions of the worldwide crop are consumed fresh, dried into raisins, processed into non-alcoholic juice, and distilled into spirits. Breeding objectives vary by region and market class of grape, but many programs seek to combine high quality fruit with improved disease resistance and environmental adaptation, or to continue advances in quality attributes. Grapevines are predominantly a grafted crop, making grape rootstocks, and rootstock breeding, vitally important in the growth of the global viticulture industry. There are vast germplasm resources available within the genus Vitis, but worldwide production is dominated by cultivars of one species, V. vinifera. Species other than V. vinifera are of significant interest as useful sources of desirable traits in many modern breeding programs. Little is known concerning the genetic control of most traits in grape beyond the fact that many traits of interest are quantitatively controlled. Substantial international effort has occurred in the development of molecular genetic and genomic resources for grape. Many tools are now in place to identify the causal genes underlying important traits and to better understand the allelic diversity that exists in important genes.