Media release – GWRDC invests in grapevine germplasm research for a competitive Australian wine sector

Over the next four years, the Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation (GWRDC) will invest more than $7.6 million in research to identify and evaluate rootstocks and varieties that possess desirable viticultural and winemaking properties for the Australian grape and wine sector.

‘New investments in grapevine germplasm will build on previous GWRDC investments and will help address key industry and Government priorities including adaptation to climate change, tolerance to drought and salinity, and nematode and Phylloxera resistance’, said GWRDC Executive Director Dr Stuart Thomson.

‘The outcomes of this research will support the sustainability of the Australian grape and wine sector by assisting businesses to adopt critical management practices’, said Dr Thomson.

The research will be undertaken by CSIRO, which is contributing an additional $5.9 million to the projects over the four-year period. The University of Adelaide and the South Australian Research and Development Institute will contribute additional funds to some of these projects over the four-year period.

The following new projects come under GWRDC’s grapevine germplasm sub-program:

  • Identification and marker-assisted selection of genes for reducing the susceptibility of new winegrape cultivars to fungal pathogens
  • Genetic and mechanistic characterisation of rootstock traits conferring abiotic stress tolerance to grapevines
  • Towards elite mildew resistant selections suitable for industry use
  • New rootstocks for Australian conditions
  • Rootstock transformation to test significant abiotic stress and pest resistance genes
  • Climate change ready varieties and management technologies that reduce greenhouse gases in the vineyard.

Grapevine germplasm was identified as a key research priority by GWRDC’s stakeholders during wine sector consultations associated with the development of GWRDC’s Strategic Research, Development and Extension (RD&E) Plan 2012–17.

For more information about other current GWRDC investments click here.

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For further information:
Jen Russell

Communications Adviser

Ph: 08 8273 0500