Implications of Epigenetics Rejuvenation During Vegetative Propagation for the Production of Locally Adapted Perennial Crop Cultivars

Grants and Contracts Details


The project objectives fit within the scope of Priority Area “Plant health and production and plant products” and the “Program Area Priorities Physiology of Agricultural Plants (A1152)” and “Plant Breeding for Agricultural Production (A1141)”. We will use a multidisciplinary approach to understand the plant growth and developmental processes involved in the epigenetic rejuvenation of grapevine during vegetative propagation. Unravelling the mechanisms regulating the maintenance of epigenetic memory in perennial crops, will allow breeders harnessing the potential of plant priming as a mechanism for plant response to abiotic and biotic stresses observed in annual species1,85. Our preliminary data indicates that grapevine’s primary and secondary metabolism is affected by epigenetic modifications observed during vegetative propagation, which is supported by previous studies in annual species10,86. The ability to use epigenetic memory to affect wine quality will help emphasising the uniqueness of American wines. This project will also provide the basis for the development methods for the propagation, prebreeding and germplasm enhancement breeding of grapevine varieties more resilient to changing and extreme environments predicted for the near future. Our approach will also allow the creation of locally adapted cultivars based on the historical and predicted conditions of each growing region. The project will increase the competitiveness of the American table-grape and wine industry by enabling the adoption of novel breeding and nursery propagation technologies with the potential to generate improved varieties. Enhanced stress tolerance will also improve vineyard performance and reduce vineyard input costs promoting sustainability. This novel research approach will provide tools and knowledge transferable to other agriculturally-important perennial crops.
Effective start/end date2/15/192/14/24


  • National Institute of Food and Agriculture: $500,000.00


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