Submitted to: Trade Journal Publication
Publication Type: Trade Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/11/2019
Publication Date: 3/26/2019
Citation: Martinson, T.E., Ledbetter, C.A., Naegele, R.P. 2019. Marker-assisted selection is making table grape breeding more efficient. American Vineyard. 28(3):10-11.
Technical Abstract: High quality red-skinned grape berries are a difficult target for grape breeders. The trait is influenced by environmental conditions, and not all grape accessions respond in the same manner to different growing environments. Breeders can identify new high quality red-skinned grape accessions, but the process is inefficient because a new selection can only be identified after the grapevine comes into bearing, a process that typically takes 2-3 years. To assist future grape breeding efforts in the identification of high quality red-skinned grapes, breeders at Parlier-ARS have assembled a mapping population arising from the mating of low quality x high quality red-skinned grapes. When seedlings from this mating begin fruiting, each vine will be evaluated for its skin color quality. Concurrently, tissues will be sampled from each vine for DNA analysis, and breeders will then attempt to identify specific regions of DNA that correlate with high quality red-skinned vines. This ‘marker assisted selection’ has the potential to greatly improve breeding efficiency by limiting the numbers of seedlings that are needed to be grown out to maturity. Seedlings lacking the DNA marker that correlates with high quality red skin color can be eliminated in the seedling flat prior to field planting, allowing more time and resources to be spent on the remaining seedlings of interest.