Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New tool to unlock genetics of grape-growing

28.02.2014

University of Adelaide researchers have developed a new web-based tool to help unlock the complex genetics and biological processes behind grapevine development.

Published in the journal BMC Genomics, the researchers describe their online database that can be used to examine how almost 30,000 genes work together in groups and networks to produce the vine and its grapes.

"The complexity of plants is easily overlooked when we're enjoying a glass of wine," says project leader Associate Professor Christopher Ford at the University's School of Agriculture, Food and Wine. "But every part of the vine and the grape, each final attribute of flavour, colour and aroma, their ability to resist pests and adapt to salinity, all of these represent the outcomes of the coordinated expression - switching on or off - of sometimes thousands of individual genes, each encoding some small component of the final product.

"If we know the identity of these genes, and the patterns in which they are turned on and off, we will be better able to understand how their expression leads to these complex outcomes."

The work, conducted by PhD student Darren Wong and post-doctoral researchers Crystal Sweetman and Damian Drew, outlines a 'guilt by association' principle where genes turned on at the same time and in the same tissues are likely to be working together.

"For example, if we know there is a gene that is responsible for making an enzyme which is critical at a particular stage of grape production, then this tool will enable us to see which other genes are switched on in the grape at the same time," says Associate Professor Ford.

"By clustering genes based on patterns of this 'co-expression' it's possible to identify not just the genes we expected to be involved but others whose roles in a particular function we didn't suspect.

"In this way we can build up networks of identified genes that we can say are working together under certain conditions, and see which ones may be important, for instance, in helping the plant cope with drought or salinity."

The database (called VTCdb), is freely available as a resource for researchers and grapevine breeders.

"It will provide researchers and breeders with a comprehensive tool to help them make important decisions in their prioritisation of gene candidates for ongoing study of the biological processes related to all aspects of vine and grape development, metabolism and stress responses," says Associate Professor Ford.

"Ultimately, it will benefit the industry by helping produce new traits in grapevines for improved flavour and quality and climate and environmental adaptation."

Media Contact:

Associate Professor Chris Ford
Deputy Head
School of Agriculture, Food and Wine
The University of Adelaide
Phone: +61 8 8313 7386
Mobile: +61 413 880 685
christopher.ford@adelaide.edu.au

Darren Wong
PhD candidate
School of Agriculture, Food and Wine
Phone: +61 8313 0585
Mobile: +61 401 340 784
darren.wong@adelaide.edu.au

Robyn Mills
Media and Communications Officer
The University of Adelaide
Phone: +61 8 8313 6341
Mobile: +61 410 689 084
robyn.mills@adelaide.edu.au

Chris Ford | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.adelaide.edu.au

Further reports about: BMC Deputy Phone biological processes conditions genes grape-growing networks salinity

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht How to become a T follicular helper cell
31.07.2015 | La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology

nachricht Heating and cooling with light leads to ultrafast DNA diagnostics
31.07.2015 | University of California - Berkeley

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Quantum Matter Stuck in Unrest

Using ultracold atoms trapped in light crystals, scientists from the MPQ, LMU, and the Weizmann Institute observe a novel state of matter that never thermalizes.

What happens if one mixes cold and hot water? After some initial dynamics, one is left with lukewarm water—the system has thermalized to a new thermal...

Im Focus: On the crest of the wave: Electronics on a time scale shorter than a cycle of light

Physicists from Regensburg and Marburg, Germany have succeeded in taking a slow-motion movie of speeding electrons in a solid driven by a strong light wave. In the process, they have unraveled a novel quantum phenomenon, which will be reported in the forthcoming edition of Nature.

The advent of ever faster electronics featuring clock rates up to the multiple-gigahertz range has revolutionized our day-to-day life. Researchers and...

Im Focus: Superfast fluorescence sets new speed record

Plasmonic device has speed and efficiency to serve optical computers

Researchers have developed an ultrafast light-emitting device that can flip on and off 90 billion times a second and could form the basis of optical computing.

Im Focus: Unlocking the rice immune system

Joint BioEnergy Institute study identifies bacterial protein that is key to protecting rice against bacterial blight

A bacterial signal that when recognized by rice plants enables the plants to resist a devastating blight disease has been identified by a multi-national team...

Im Focus: Smarter window materials can control light and energy

Researchers in the Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin are one step closer to delivering smart windows with a new level of energy efficiency, engineering materials that allow windows to reveal light without transferring heat and, conversely, to block light while allowing heat transmission, as described in two new research papers.

By allowing indoor occupants to more precisely control the energy and sunlight passing through a window, the new materials could significantly reduce costs for...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

3rd Euro Bio-inspired - International Conference and Exhibition on Bio-inspired Materials

23.07.2015 | Event News

Clash of Realities – International Conference on the Art, Technology and Theory of Digital Games

10.07.2015 | Event News

World Conference on Regenerative Medicine in Leipzig: Last chance to submit abstracts until 2 July

25.06.2015 | Event News

 
Latest News

Tool making and additive technology exhibition: Fraunhofer IPT at Formnext

31.07.2015 | Trade Fair News

First Siemens-built Thameslink train arrives in London

31.07.2015 | Transportation and Logistics

California 'rain debt' equal to average full year of precipitation

31.07.2015 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>