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sector_ico_Agrifood_trans Agrifood

WineGen – Genomics of Viticulture and Enology

  • Project Leaders: Steve Lund, Hennie van Vuuren
  • Institutions: University of British Columbia (UBC)
  • Budget: $5035588
  • Program/Competition: Applied Genomics Programs
  • Genome Centre(s): Genome British Columbia
  • Status: Closed

This applied research project builds on the previous GrapeGen project to further advance new knowledge about grape biology (viticulture) and wine yeasts to improve winemaking processes and the quality of the wines produced (enology). International researchers from Canada, New Zealand and the US, aimed to identify changes at the molecular and biochemical level that affected grapevine cultivation, grape processing and fermentation by yeasts. The effect of particular environmental factors on signaling and metabolic pathways important for berry ripening and berry flavor were investigated using Pinot Noir and Gewurztraminer varieties as model cultivars in Canada and the Sauvignon Blanc in New Zealand. Genomic techniques were used to further identify genes associated with specific compositional traits relevant to grapevine production in these varieties. This project also investigated the effects of nitrogen on the fermentation process and how the addition of diammonium-phosphate early can silence a number of genes that could affect the production of flavor compounds in wine. With respect to public opinion, the GE3LS team developed a model of explanation for public support for biotechnological innovations, which should be useful in a wider agricultural field. This project led to additional project investments in Grape and Wine Genomics.