The Evaluation of Transgenic Grapevines

Project Number
IWBT 05-10

Project title
The evaluation of transgenic grapevines

Project leader
Vivier, M A

University of Stellenbosch. Faculty of AgriSciences. Institute for Wine Biotechnology

Project description
Agrobacterium-based transformations of grapevine utilising somatic embryo cultures have proven to be successful and several high efficiency and reproducible transformation protocols are currently in use. We have optimised somatic embryogenesis protocols for various wine and table grape cultivars and successfully transformed several of these cultivars. In a previous project funded by Winetech, embryogenic cell-lines have been generated that are highly suitable for transformations and we have been performing transformations with these yielding several transgenic lines that could move towards field trials.

Greenhouse evaluation of the transgenic lines revealed stable gene expression and the plantlets were successfully hardened off and prepared to yield grafting material. Several aspects of our work plan could not be completed as planned due to the proclamation of our intended trial site as an archaeological heritage site. This significantly impacted on our suggested timelines and will mean that we lost a year in the project. Also, a new site will have to be procured and submitted for approval for a transgenic field trial site.

We propose to extend the intended field trial to also include some newly developed transgenic lines that were transformed with various anti-fungal constructs and that are currently under evaluation for their disease resistance properties. These should also be ready for grafting when the trial site has been selected and suitably prepared.

Vivier, M A. 2005. Functional analysis of grapevine genes. Paper. 1st International Grape Genomics Symposium, St. Louis, Missouri, United States

Vivier, M A, Groenewald, S and Goussard, P G. 2005. Progress with the genetic transformation of grapevine cultivars. Presentation. Winetech Virus Programme Meeting, Stellenbosch, South Africa.

Vivier, M A. 2005. Grapevine biotechnology in the South African wine industry. Presentation. Winetech Biotechnology Programme Open Day, Stellenbosch, South Africa, October

Vivier, M A. 2006. Grapevine biotechnology in the South African wine industry. Presentation. Winetech VinPro Meeting, Paarl, South Africa, May


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