Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Missouri Grapes Hold Key to Improving World Grape Production

07.12.2010
University of Missouri researchers study traits that make Norton grapes resistant to debilitating mildew

In a few years, a sip of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot or Pinot Noir may include a taste of the “Show-Me” State. The state grape of Missouri – the Norton variety grown at many vineyards around the state – is resistant to powdery mildew, a fungal pathogen that affects winemaking grapes around the world.

Now, researchers at the University of Missouri are working to identify valuable genes from the Norton grape for eventual transfer into other grapes to make them less susceptible to mildew, decrease fungicide use and increase world-wide grape production.

Walter Gassmann, a researcher in the Bond Life Sciences Center and associate professor of plant sciences in the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources.

“The hot, humid environment of Missouri is perfect for the growth of fungal pathogens, such as mildew, yet Norton resists the fungus,” said Walter Gassmann, a researcher in the Bond Life Sciences Center and associate professor of plant sciences in the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources. “Understanding what makes Norton resistant to fungus, and European varieties, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, susceptible to fungus, can help us improve grape production around the world.”

Researchers say the difference between the Norton grape and other varieties is that the Norton grape builds more of a certain protein that is essential to fight fungal pathogens than other grape varieties, which build too little of the protein too late to successfully battle the fungus. Earlier research has discovered the gene that contains the blueprint for this protein present in both Norton grapes and other varieties that cannot resist the mildew. Gassmann is conducting research on the fast-growing Arabidopsis plant, which features a gene similar to the targeted grape gene. His team added the grapevine gene to an Arabidopsis plant that was lacking its own gene. Adding the grapevine gene led to plants that resisted the mildew, confirming that the grapevine gene is responsible for orchestrating plant defenses against mildew. The next step in this research is to figure out what in the genetic instructions is different in Norton and other grapevine varieties that leads to the observed difference in protein levels in resistant Norton and susceptible grapevines.

Most wineries must use sulfur to combat the fungus, and Gassmann says that it will be years until fungus-resistant grape varieties can be put into commercial production. He says that research is being conducted, including sequencing the Norton genome, but it will still be technically difficult to make a transgenic grape plant and even more difficult to find consumers accepting of the idea of consuming genetically modified grapes, although he hopes that these attitudes will eventually change.

“Until then, there really is no way to eliminate fungicide use, for economic reasons or to make organic wine, unless you breed the mildew resistant trait into other varieties,” Gassmann said. “Many people forget that before Prohibition Missouri was the second largest wine-producing state in the country after New York. We see this work as eventually providing an economic impact through the high-value agriculture and tourism that wineries can provide.”

Gassmann worked on the research with Wenping Qiu, professor and director of the Center for Grapevine Biotechnology at Missouri State University. Gassmann and Qiu’s study was recently published in the plant sciences journal Planta. The research was funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Steven Adams | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.missouri.edu

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht Microjet generator for highly viscous fluids
13.02.2018 | Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology

nachricht Sweet route to greater yields
08.02.2018 | Rothamsted Research

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Developing reliable quantum computers

International research team makes important step on the path to solving certification problems

Quantum computers may one day solve algorithmic problems which even the biggest supercomputers today can’t manage. But how do you test a quantum computer to...

Im Focus: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.

In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

Im Focus: Hybrid optics bring color imaging using ultrathin metalenses into focus

For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.

But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...

Im Focus: Stem cell divisions in the adult brain seen for the first time

Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.

The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Stiffness matters

22.02.2018 | Life Sciences

Magnetic field traces gas and dust swirling around supermassive black hole

22.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

First evidence of surprising ocean warming around Galápagos corals

22.02.2018 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>