Project Vision and Goals
Long-term VitisGen Project Goals
The VitisGen project is a multi-institution research collaboration funded by the USDA-NIFA Specialty Crop Research Initiative for the development of new grape varieties. Launched in September 2011, the vision for this five-year project is as follows:
- To identify high priority vine performance and fruit quality traits with documented economic value to the grape industry and to the consumer.
- To discover, identify, and improve high priority traits using both traditional and modern biological approaches.
- To implement this strategy through development of molecular trait markers and improved grape varieties.
- To enhance communication regarding the value of improved knowledge of grape genomics, new varieties, new technologies, and evolving needs of the grape industry and consumers.
Additionally, we will conduct consumer and grower evaluations of breeding lines and perform economic analyses related to new varieties and products to address the needs of the grape industry. Finally, we aspire to develop educational resources for the general public and the plant breeding and genetics community.
Specific Objectives for the VitisGen Project
- Develop consumer-driven breeding strategies for grape genetic improvement with documented impacts.
- Develop and apply 35 new molecular markers associated with biotic and abiotic stress tolerance, fruit quality, and additional traits of interest.
- Apply markers across 40,000 breeding lines to accelerate the breeding and selection of improved cultivars.
- Use Genotyping-by-Sequencing (GBS) to identify up to 50,000 Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP) markers per population and train geneticists from other specialty crops in GBS protocols and data analysis.
- Develop plant breeding and genetics educational resources and communicate goals and results to both industry and the general public.
Funding for VitisGen "Accelerating grape cultivar improvement via phenotyping centers and next generation markers" is provided by a Specialty Crop Research Initiative Competitive Grant, Award No. 2011-51181-30635, of the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture. This site is hosted at Cornell University. Copyright © 2015.