Initiation of molecular breeding: Towards novel african wine grape cultivars

Project number:
FShip Breeding

Project leaders:
Lashbrooke, J; Vivier, M and Burger, P

Institutions:
South African Grape and Wine Research Institute, Department of Viticulture and Oenology, Stellenbosch University
ARC Infruitec-Nietvoorbij, Stellenbosch

Start date:
2019

Project description:
The early stages of this project involve the establishment and implementation of specific methods and workflows (e.g. genotyping and phenotyping platforms) so that marker assisted selection could be implemented in our local grapevine breeding programme. This will give breeders the ability to select for the desired characteristics at a significantly earlier stage in the breeding cycle and in a much more directed way (i.e. evaluating seedlings for the presence of resistance genes, or combinations of genes, without having to grow mature plants). The platforms will also be used to accurately profile (genetically and phenotypically) the existing breeding materials in South Africa, allowing for future crosses to be made with concrete genetic knowledge, and more predictable (phenotypic) outcomes.

This project is therefore the first foundational activity towards implementing a molecular breeding programme for wine grapes in South Africa, and will significantly strengthen the existing breeding programme conducted by Phyllis Burger at the ARC (refer to Project number: P04000058). In order to optimally and efficiently accelerate our transition to modern marker assisted breeding, there will be a focus on implementing the latest relevant technologies essential to this approach. Moreover, international collaborations with partner institutions already successfully involved in this sphere, will allow for the exchange of knowledge, but also access to valuable breeding materials with known increased resistances and other valuable characteristics, relevant to our local industry.

– Record end –

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