Anthony will be speaking in Session 9. Fresh Science B. Click here to see more.
Grapevine cultivars can be unequivocally typed by both physical differences (ampelography) and genetic tests. However due to their very similar characteristics, the identification of clones within a cultivar relies on the accurate tracing of supply records to the point of origin. Such records are not always available or reliable, particularly for older accessions. Whole genome sequencing (WGS) provides the most highly detailed methodology for defining grapevine cultivars and more importantly, this can be extended to differentiating clones within those cultivars.
The AWRI has developed a world-first clonal sequencing methodology that combines the latest next-generation genome sequencing technologies, high-performance computing and customised bioinformatics tools. This technique has been successfully used to define clonal variation across grapevine varieties and to define grapevine clones as “true-to-sequence”.
The ability to conduct definitive clonal identification will provide confidence regarding the contents of Australian grapevine germplasm resources. By establishing a molecular test for clonal identification, routine quality assurance and testing would be available to alleviate risk involved with mis-planting. Overall, this will underpin investments in replanting, facilitate vineyard recovery and improve income for Australian grape grower and wine producers.
Anthony is a Research Manager at the Australian Wine Research Institute and an Affiliate of the University of Adelaide. He leads research that is focused on applying genomics to understand the genetic basis of biological diversity in winemaking, including grapevines, commercial wine yeast and bacteria and wild ferments.