Contributions of the VitisGen2 project to grapevine breeding and genetics
Keywords:Vitis, breeding, marker-assisted selection, QTL, disease resistance, insect resistance, phenotyping, molecular markers
The VitisGen projects (2011-2022) have improved the tools available for breeding new grapevine cultivars with regional adaptation, high quality, and disease resistance. VitisGen2 (the second project in the series) was a multi-state collaboration (USDA-Geneva, New York; University of California, Davis; USDA-Parlier, California; Cornell University; Missouri State University; University of Minnesota; South Dakota State University; Washington State University; North Dakota State University; and E&J Gallo, California) to develop improved genetic mapping technology; to identify useful DNA marker-trait associations; and to incorporate marker-assisted selection (MAS) into breeding programs. A novel genetic mapping platform (rhAmpSeq) now provides 2000 + markers that are transferable across the Vitis genus. rhAmpSeq has been used in California, New York, Missouri, and South Dakota to identify new QTL for powdery and downy mildew resistance. In addition, fruit/flower traits that would normally take years to phenotype have been associated with predictive markers accessible from seedling DNA (e.g. malate metabolism, anthocyanin acylation, bloom phenology and flower sex). Since 2011, the project has used MAS to screen thousands of grape seedlings from public breeding programs in the United States and has produced “Ren- Stack” public domain lines to enable simultaneous access to 4 or 6 powdery mildew resistance loci from single source genotypes. High-throughput phenotyping for powdery and downy mildew resistance has been revolutionized with the Blackbird automated-imaging system powered by artificial intelligence for image analysis. Affordable DNA sequencing along with phenotyping innovations are transforming grapevine breeding.
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