COST Action FA1003
GRAPENET / Working Group 2: Development of phenotyping and genotyping methodologies
Coordinator: Dr. Roberto BACILIERI

Development of faster and precise phenotyping methods

The selected genotypes will be characterized in their current location and in local collections. Analysis of composition of berry compounds known to play a role in the berry and wine quality will be conducted. Methods of phenotyping for the characters of interest will be discussed and developed. For those characters where a methodology is available, such as anthocyans, tannins, sugars and acids contents, short-term scientific missions will be actively promoted as the preferred means for the transfer of methods and techniques. This will allow the dissemination of knowledge, standardization of the techniques used and the acceleration of the pace of analyses.

Development of molecular tools allowing high-throughput genotyping (DNA chips)

Being genetically different from west European grapevine germplasm, the genetic material in the form of local varieties from the Caucasus region and other east European countries will significantly contribute to the understanding of the genetic variation of important traits. Once the genotypes are identified at the molecular level (e.g., by microsatellites, SSR) as unique, their polymorphism in target genes of quality and resistance to abiotic stress will be determined using High-Throughput (HT) DNA technologies. Based on the grapevine genome sequence, a multitude of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) is now available. Furthermore, several ongoing research projects provide even further genome sequence data in order to generate HT-SNP chips. These "general" chips, as well as targeted approaches, provide extraordinary tools for an international project to unravel the genetic resources of grapevine, covering a range of germplasm from those closely related to the original wild species up to the modern cultivars. In particular SNP datasets will allow developing research on the evolution of the grapevine genepool, and will provide answers to key questions concerning the ancestors of cultivated grapevine.
The variation of genes known to play a role in grapevine development could also be studied with a novel "selection sweep" approach allowing detection of genes that strongly participate in adaptation.
With respect to the management of target gene data, modules storing cultivar specific phenotypic and genotypic aptitudes will be generated in the European Vitis database. The inventory and description of core collections will be included in the same international database.