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sector_ico_Agrifood_trans Agrifood

Grape and Wine Genomics

  • Project Leaders: Steve Lund, Hennie van Vuuren
  • Institutions: University of British Columbia (UBC)
  • Budget: $3440481
  • Program/Competition: Large Scale Applied Research Programs
  • Genome Centre(s): Genome Canada
  • Status: Closed

The contribution of BC wine sales to provincial agri-business has grown significantly over the past decade. In 2011, the BC wine and grape industry contributed a total of $2.01Billion of overall economic impact (made up of revenue and wages) to the BC economy. The process of producing superior wines is complex, fraught with the intricacies inherent in viticulture (grape biology), wine yeasts, and enology (winemaking), all of which are being addressed by these projects. This project involved collaborations between Canada, and the US to identify changes at the molecular and biochemical level that affect grapevine cultivation, grape processing and fermentation by yeasts. The yeast research group had good success uncovering new genes and pathways involved in wine spoilage and stress response, and resulted in the submission of one provisional patent and several research grants and contracts to further these research results. The GE3LS project also had significant collaboration with researchers in key wine producing regions around the world to study the competitiveness and success of wine clusters, which resulted in the publication of a book. This project is builds on previous two previous investments in WineGen and GrapeGen.