Investigators at the Agricultural Research Service, a division of the US Department of Agriculture, have developed a novel assay to interrogate 9,000 SNPs in representative portions of the genomes of several grape varieties. Their work aims to enhance the presence of certain traits, such as fruit quality, environmental adaptation, and pest and disease resistance, all the while reducing the amount of time it takes to breed better grape varieties. The team is examining portions of the genomes of 10 cultivated grape varieties, six wild varieties, and the clone of pinot noir, sequenced by researchers in 2007. Their methods have made it possible to "identify the relationships and geographic origins of the cultivars" and also serve as "a relatively fast and inexpensive way to identify genetic markers not only in grapes, but also in other crops by using modern sequencing approaches," according to the USDA. The team also suggests that their technique could aid in characterizing relationships among plant collections and accelerate genetic mapping efforts across species.
Sequencing for a Better Sauvignon Blanc?
Mar 23, 2010