Improvement of grapevine (Vitis vinifera) for resistance against pathogens is one of the critical needs to enhance crop sustainability. Particularly urgent now is the introduction of specific traits for durable resistance, while maintaining the essential quality of elite cultivars (Gray et al 2014).
New avenues opened by recently introduced protocols of cis-genetic transformation of grapevine may boost consumers confidence and acceptance of improved crop products.
The project aims to increase the competitiveness of the University of Verona with respect to grapevine molecular breeding, by developing efficient cis-genic approaches and genetic transformation protocols for local ad international high quality varieties.
The research will set up the experimental conditions for the production of cis-genic grapevines of different varieties devoid of any selectable marker, containing: 1) an important resistance gene (Rpv1), controlling the response against Plasmopara viticola and deriving from the sexually compatible species Muscadinia rotundifolia, together with its endogenous regulatory sequences, or 2) a gene encoding an E3-ubiquitin ligase, deriving from the sexually compatible species Vitis riparia; this gene is a strong candidate as it was already proved in our laboratory that it can confer resistance against P. viticola, when expressed in transgenic V. vinifera cv Syrah under the control of the 35S promoter (Ariani et al., 2016).