Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Virus-resistant grapevines

06.07.2009
A good wine needs to ripen. But it's a long way to the barrel. Even before the harvest, the grapevines have to overcome all kinds of obstacles.

Extremely hot or rainy periods can destroy entire crops, not to mention the wide variety of pests that can appear on the scene. Bugs such as the vine louse or the rust mite, fungi such as mildew, or viruses such as the "Grapevine fanleaf virus" (GFLV for short) can give the vines a hard time.

The GFLV infects the grapevine and causes fanleaf disease, resulting in deformed and very yellowed leaves, smaller grapes and crop loss.

However, there will soon be a cure for GFLV infections: Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME in Aachen are making certain plants resistant to the GFLV by genetic engineering. "Our modified plants produce antibodies," explains Dr. Stefan Schillberg, head of department at the IME. "These antibodies 'recognize' the viruses and prevent them from spreading in the plant and causing damage."

To enable the plant to produce the antibodies, the scientists have to modify its genotype and channel genetic information for the antibodies into it. This task is performed by tiny helpers called agrobacteria, which genetic engineers have been using for over twenty years. These are soil bacteria that inherently transfer parts of their own genome to that of the plant. Using simple routine processes, the researchers introduce the antibody gene into the bacteria, which then act as a transport vehicle and carry it over to the vine.

The researchers are still testing this process on model plants, and the first results show that their modified versions are up to 100 percent resistant to the virus. "The antibody is produced very effectively inside the plants," says Schillberg. "The next step on the agenda is to test the method on actual grapevines and then to carry out field tests." The scientists' long-term goal is to curb the use of pesticides.

"Certain pesticides are necessary to fight GFLV infections," Schillberg explains. But they often only have a limited effect. They are also harmful to the environment and therefore banned in many regions. Countries like Chile, for example, which depend strongly on their winegrowing business, could benefit enormously from the pathogen-resistant grapevines and improve their crop yields.

Stefan Schillberg | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ime.fraunhofer.de

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht Combination of Resistance Genes Offers Better Protection for Wheat against Powdery Mildew
22.01.2018 | Universität Zürich

nachricht New study shows producers where and how to grow cellulosic biofuel crops
17.01.2018 | University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences

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: Artificial agent designs quantum experiments

On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.

We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...

Im Focus: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

Im Focus: Room-temperature multiferroic thin films and their properties

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.

Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Thanks for the memory: NIST takes a deep look at memristors

22.01.2018 | Materials Sciences

Radioactivity from oil and gas wastewater persists in Pennsylvania stream sediments

22.01.2018 | Earth Sciences

Saarland University bioinformaticians compute gene sequences inherited from each parent

22.01.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks Wissenschaft & Forschung
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>