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Plant geneticists find veritas in vino
Date:12/18/2007

d with many wild grapespecies providing a large reservoir of disease-resistancegenes, which can be exploited with the aid of this genome road map.

This description of the grape genome presents an opportunity to direct genetic improvement or disease resistance, says Brian Dilkes. The genome sequence simultaneously identified hundreds of genes, which correspond to enzymes that produce flavor and aroma compounds. This will allow breeding for diseases resistance to proceed without disturbing the biochemistry of taste and grape quality. When I told sommelier Andrew Meadows about this recently, his reaction was, Good! I would love to offer a decent Pinot for less than $30.

This grape genome may also have implications beyond viticulture. Grapes can be both genetically transformed and micropropogated to produce hundreds of identical clones. With the sequencing of its relatively small genome, it is well placed to become a model organism for fruit trees in general. It is, however, in the safeguarding and improvement of grape stocks that the effects of this genome will be felt most strongly. The sequence of the grape genome, says Velasco, together with the large arsenal of SNP loci, now offers a tool to open a new era in the molecular breeding of grapes.


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Contact: Rebecca Walton
rwalton@plos.org
44-122-346-3333
Public Library of Science
Source:Eurekalert

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