UBC researchers to sequence Chardonnay genome

Jan 18, 2012

The University of British Columbia’s Wine Research Centre has launched an international collaboration with the Australian Wine Research Institute to sequence the Chardonnay grape genome.

In the first initiative of its kind, a multidisciplinary team of Canadian and Australian scientists will explore the genomics of the world’s most planted grape variety, red or white.

Considered to be the principal international white wine standard, Chardonnay is Australia’s dominant white variety and is the second most planted white variety in British Columbia. However, not many wineries know the type  they have planted.

“Despite its popularity, not much is known about the Chardonnay ,” says project co-lead Prof. Hennie van Vuuren, director of the UBC Wine Research Centre at the Faculty of Land and Food Systems. “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.”

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.

“We’re delighted to have secured this partnership with UBC for the benefit of Australian grape and wine producers,” says Managing Director Dan Johnson of the Adelaide-based Australian Wine Research Institute (AWRI).  “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.”

Johnson adds, “Our work will benefit from the development of linkages with other groups working on grapevine sequencing initiatives for other varieties.”

Also heading the project are Prof. Joerg Bohlmann from the UBC Michael Smith Laboratories and Prof. Sakkie Pretorius at the University of South Australia.

To date, the initiative has received a total of $585,000 from funders that include Genome British Columbia, UBC, the UBC Research Centre, Bioplatforms Australia Ltd. and the AWRI.

Explore further: The origin of the language of life

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Time is ripe for wine grapes

Nov 05, 2010

CSIRO researchers have discovered a new method growers could use to control when their grapes ripen, without affecting wine quality.

Bushfires leave a bad taste for wine lovers

Nov 13, 2008

(PhysOrg.com) -- Australian winemakers are turning to the University of Adelaide to help identify grape varieties that are less susceptible to smoke from summer bushfires.

Finding the white wine difference

Mar 05, 2007

A CSIRO research team has pinpointed the genetic difference between red (or black) and white grapes – a discovery which could lead to the production of new varieties of grapes and ultimately new wines.

Recommended for you

The origin of the language of life

18 hours ago

The genetic code is the universal language of life. It describes how information is encoded in the genetic material and is the same for all organisms from simple bacteria to animals to humans. However, the ...

Quest to unravel mysteries of our gene network

Dec 18, 2014

There are roughly 27,000 genes in the human body, all but a relative few of them connected through an intricate and complex network that plays a dominant role in shaping our physiological structure and functions.

EU court clears stem cell patenting

Dec 18, 2014

A human egg used to produce stem cells but unable to develop into a viable embryo can be patented, the European Court of Justice ruled on Thursday.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.