A Better Grape. I'm Greg Martin with today's Fruit Grower Report.
The grape. It is the basis for great tasting wines, not to mention half of a great PBJ sandwich. But according to Amit Dhingra a horticultural genomicist at Washington State University the grape can be so much more. They are going deep beneath the skin of the grape for the answers.
DHINGRA: Genome sequences are not the end of the problem; it's actually the beginning of the stream of solutions. Now we want to look at what these genes do. Now when you work with crops that take 3 or 4 years to flower like grapes or even apples that take 7 years sometimes, that kind of research can move at a glacial speed.
They have found a shortcut around the time issue.
DHINGRA: We are using a special mutant grape. It's a pinot meunier grape which was originally discovered in Burgundy, France and this grape has a unique property of flowering in 3 to 4 months of seed. And you can actually get crop in about 5 months. We can now utilize this, in our program we are trying to utilize this for functional biology to understand what genes do.
The grape is also called a pixie grape and can give researchers results in a much quicker time frame and the mutation can done with other grape varieties.
DHINGRA: Connecting this particular mutant to genomic information we can test a particular gene which will increase for example resveratrol or any other antioxidant levels. Once we can basically create an intellectual property resource in terms of new varieties we can arrive at quickly then our growers will have more choice of what they grow
That's today's Fruit Grower Report. I'm Greg Martin on the Northwest Ag Information Network.