Monday, 09 October 2023 15:25

Sauvignon Blanc Grapevine Improvement Programme update

Written by  Sophie Preece

Successfully generating a reference genome for Sauvignon Blanc is just one step towards improving New Zealand's most important grapevine variety, albeit a big one.

Over the past year, the Sauvignon Blanc Grapevine Improvement Programme has made significant progress in building capability to identify and select new grapevine clones, including six new science staff, a research laboratory, and a high-throughput PromethION sequencer.

After the succes of completing the production of the project's first 6,000 new vines ahead of schedule, Bragato Research Institute was notified that the programme's subcontractor Plant & Food Research had mistakenly produced and delivered vines that were of the wrong grapevine variety.

This will delay the programme, which was set to finish in 2009, by 12-18 months.

Plant & Food Research has taken responsibility for fixing its mistake and has scaled its production capacity to ensure the plants can be replaced in the coming season, with the first replacements due this month.

Fortunately, the other work within the programme, such as the genetics work to identify and select vines described in the article above, is unaffected.

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