COST Action FA1003
GRAPENET / Working Group 4: Strategy for conservation and sustainable use
Coordinators: Dr. Milos FALTUS and Dr. Rafael OCETE-RUBIO (vice-coordinator)

Through the Action, tools, methodologies and standards for collaborative research will be developed, adopted and made widely available. They are described in more detail in the previous sections. The new tools and methodologies will empower the participants to accelerate modern genetic research including gene discovery as well as breeding processes. A key output of the Working Group will be a common plan for enabling better and faster research and technology applications.
In fact, all available knowledge will be used to define priorities for action at European, national and international levels.
The Network will also use the jointly obtained knowledge to develop a strategy for grapevine genetic resources with special emphasis on the Caucasus region and other east European countries. An integrated approach taking advantage of all available methods of conservation (in situ, ex situ, on-farm) will be promoted. In situ conservation, i.e. conservation of genetic resources in the natural and original population, or where they developed their distinctive properties, will mainly aim at maintaining the dynamic wild grapevine populations. On-farm conservation approaches promote the maintenance of local, traditional varieties by farmers as part of sustainable livelihood practices. Ex situ conservation approaches are highly developed in grapevine and the genetic resources are usually preserved as living field collections. As grapevine is vegetatively propagated, cryopreservation is increasingly viewed as an alternative to field collections. Cryopreservation experiments have been made with promising results and the technique is appropriate for safeguarding vegetatively propagated material as well as seeds and pollen, and especially applicable for core collections.
A methodology for identification of local varieties, based on modern ampelography and molecular genetics will be adopted. In addition, a strategy for mobilization of local varieties will be recommended.