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Historical document

Eighth International Symposium on Grapevine Physiology and Biotechnology (TG08006)

Key research provider: Australian Society of Viticulture and Oenology
Publication date: February, 2009

This is a final research report from Hort Innovation’s historical archives. Please note that as these reports may date back as far as the 1990s, the content and recommendations within them may be superseded by more recent research.

What was it all about?

Climate change and fruit quality were areas of key interest when Adelaide played host to some of the world's top grapevine scientists at the 8th International Symposium on Grapevine Physiology and Biotechnology - held at The National Wine Centre from 24th-28th November, 2008. The conference attracted 196 delegates, surpassing previous conferences in this series. There were 83 overseas delegates from: Brazil, Canada, Chile, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Spain, New Zealand, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, USA.

The aim of the conference was to discuss the latest biotechnology techniques that would help the table-grape, dried fruit and wine industries. It showcased the latest research with a focus on where new techniques in biotechnology were being used to advance our understanding of vine physiology. With the recent sequencing of the grapevine genome, this opened many opportunities in grapevine biotechnology to improve berry quality, and to help understand the consequences and mitigate the impacts of climate change, such as heat waves, drought and salinity.

The areas discussed at the conference were: Plant growth and development, Fruit development and composition, Grapevines and water usage, Environment and plant responses to climate change, Pathogens and disease resistance, New advances in genomics and functional genomics, and New advances in plant physiology. A special issue of the Australian Journal of Grape and Wine Research contained reviews from keynote speakers, and abstracts oral and posters presentations. These reviews would capture the essence of the symposium and were of great benefit to researchers and practitioners alike.

As an indication of the outcomes of the symposium some of the titles of the reviews received to date were: The use of genetic transformation for functional genomics in grapevine. Conventional and biotechnological approaches for the improvement of table grapes: a review. Managing grapevines to optimise fruit development in a challenging environment: a viticultural climate change primer. Improving water-use-efficiency in grapevines: potential physiological targets for biotechnological improvement. Molecular strategies to enhance the genetic resistance of grapevines to powdery mildew.

Several areas of R&D focus were identified in the presentations and discussions. Of primary importance was the desire to co-ordinate effort internationally, particular for large projects relating to climate change and grapevine systems biology and genomics.


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Funding statement:
This project was funded by Hort Innovation (then Horticulture Australia Limited) with the financial support of Australian Society of Viticulture and Oenology.

Copyright © Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited 2009. The Final Research Report (in part or as whole) cannot be reproduced, published, communicated or adapted without the prior written consent of Hort Innovation (except as may be permitted under the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth)).