Vitis genetic resources: current challenges, achievements and perspectives


  • Thierry Lacombe Institut Agro Montpellier, UMR AGAP, Université de Montpellier, CIRAD, INRAE, Institut Agro, Montpellier, France



grapevine, germplasm, collection, preservation, characterization, dissemination


Management and knowledge of Vitis genetic resources aim to help address the multiple current and future challenges facing the professional sector: i) preservation of wild and cultivated grapevine heritage, ii) clonal selection of existing cultivars, iii) creation of new cultivars by hybridisation or other technologies, iv) progress in fundamental and applied sciences on all viticultural and oenological issues. It is therefore a vast field of study and actions that deals with all taxonomic levels within the Vitis genus (subgenus, species and their hybrids, cultivars and their variants, clones), in natural and cultivated environments, on all continents, both for fruit production (wine and table grapes) and for rootstocks. To meet the many expectations, different actors should ideally coordinate the following actions: 1) research and identification of sources of genetic diversity, 2) access, collection and sampling of this diversity, 3) ex situ and/or in situ conservation, 4) characterization, 5) dissemination of plant material and related information, 6) use of genetic resources by the different applicants. Following this outline, we will try to assess the challenges and achievements over the last 5-10 years, and discuss the perspectives of this disciplinary field taking into account elements of the wine-growing, scientific, institutional and regulatory context.