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British Columbia, Australia Team on Chardonnay Sequencing

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The University of British Columbia's Wine Research Centre and the Australia Wine Research Institute will partner to sequence the genome of the Chardonnay grape, UBC said on Wednesday.

A multidisciplinary team will examine 15 different varieties of the grape and will focus on certain properties, such as late ripening, loose or small bunch sizes, if they are seedless, and the size of the berries.

The project has received a total of C$585,000 (US$578,000) in funding to date from Genome BC, UBC, the UBC Wine Research Centre, Bioplatforms Australia, and AWRI.

The researchers will examine 15 different varieties of the Chardonnay grape, looking at their distinct properties such as early or late ripening, loose or small bunch sizes and seedless or large berries.

Chardonnay is the most-planted white wine variety in Australia, and the second-most planted in British Columbia, UBC said.

"Despite its popularity, not much is known about the Chardonnay genome," project co-lead and Director of the UBC Wine Research Centre Hennie van Vuuren said in a statement. "Our goal is to help wineries identify their Chardonnay varieties so they can plant the most appropriate type for their climate, leading to improved quality of wine."

"Assembly of the Chardonnay genome will produce a foundational data resource that will underpin many such projects and, with time, will assist in developing practical game changing strategies for the growing of this variety," added Dan Johnson, AWRI's managing director.

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