Welcome to VitisGen

Reasons for Grape Cultivar Improvement...

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What is VitisGen?

VitisGen is a large, multi-disciplinary, collaborative project focused on decreasing the time, effort and cost involved in developing the next generation of grapes. Vitisgen incorporates cutting edge genomics technology and socioeconomic research into the traditional grape breeding and evaluation process, which will speed up the ability to identify important genes related consumer-valued traits like disease resistance, low temperature tolerance and enhanced fruit quality. Identifying these genes will help grape breeding programs from around the world to more rapidly develop new grape varieties that will appeal to a wide range of consumers, while also addressing grower and producer needs. Additionally, the scientific resources developed during the project will allow scientists and breeders to address other issues and needs that have regional significance, like salinity or drought tolerance.

Vitisgen represents a new model of scientific collaboration. The integration of the needs of multiple interests—breeders, growers, fruit processors and consumers—into a single outcome will result in novel grape varieties that are beneficial to producers, processors and consumers.

Click here to learn more about the VitisGen project.

News from VitisGen

VitisGen Voice Newsletter

The first issue of the "VitisGen Voice" newsletter has just been published.Our first issue includes a brief introduction to VitisGen, profiles of each of the project teams involved in the project, a Q&A with project director Bruce Reisch, and even a quick vocabulary lesson. Click here to download the Winter 2013 issue of VitisGen Voice.

New Video: The Search for Powdery Mildew Resistance in Grapes

Learn how university and USDA scientists are using new technologies as part of the VitisGen project to track powdery mildew resistance in grape plants from the field to the laboratory.

Video: How Grape Crosses Are Made (Trailer)

Dr. Bruce Reisch, grape breeder at Cornell University and project director for VitisGen, discusses how breeders make crosses, how they choose what parents to use in those crosses, and how VitisGen will make this process more efficient and help to produce improved grape varieties for juice, wine and the fresh market.

For more details about the breeding process and how VitisGen will improve it, you can watch the full-length video here.

Mapping The Way To The Next Generation Of Grapes

Program has $9 million to develop better grapes

Sarah Thompson, Chronicle Online, October 24, 2012

Updated: 4/3/2014

Funding for VitisGen "Accelerating grape cultivar improvement via phenotyping centers and next generation markers" is provided by a Specialty Crop Research Initiative Competitive Grant, Award No. 2011-51181-30635, of the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture. This site is hosted at Cornell University. Copyright © 2013.