The genome of a vine rootstock deciphered

Thursday August 01 2019 by Vitisphere

 Montpellier Riparia Gloire is the oldest rootstock used in France. Montpellier Riparia Gloire is the oldest rootstock used in France.

Researchers from INRA, ISVV and the University of Bordeaux have sequenced the genome of the Montpellier Riparia Gloire vine rootstock. It is the first genome of a non-European vine and the first rootstock to be sequenced. The Montpellier Riparia Gloire is a selection of Vitis Riparia Michaux, an American species. Obtained in 1880, it is the oldest rootstock used in France and is the father of many other rootstocks used today. According to Pl@ntGrape, vineyard area grafted with this rootstock in France is estimated to cover 17,000 ha.

37,000 genes identified

Work on sequencing the rootstock’s genome began in 2016. The researchers identified more than 37,000 genes and repeated sequences. By comparing the genome of the Montpellier Riparia Gloire to that of Pinot noir, scientists observed many similarities despite a divergence in evolution dating back 50 million years. They are continuing their work to identify the genes preserved, their differences and points of convergence. They are also studying the molecular and genetic mechanisms that govern characters of interest in several representatives of the Vitis genus and their diversity. Through this sequencing, researchers hope to identify genes that are absent in European grapevines, including root-specific genes that would resist certain pathogens or water stress.

The researchers published their work in Scientific Data on July 19. They have also made available to their colleagues a “genome browser” which allows them to gain a virtual view of the genome. It will be available here.

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