Adaptation to soil and climate through the choice of plant material

Choosing the rootstock, the scion variety and the training system best suited to the local soil and climate are the key elements for an economically sustainable production of wine. The choice of the rootstock/scion variety best adapted to the characteristics of the soil is essential but, by changing climatic conditions, ongoing climate change disrupts the fine-tuned local equilibrium. Higher temperatures induce shifts in developmental stages, with on the one hand increasing fears of spring frost damages and, on the other hand, ripening during the warmest periods in summer. Expected higher water demand and longer and more frequent drought events are also major concerns. The genetic control of the phenotypes, by genomic information but also by the epigenetic control of gene expression, offers a lot of opportunities for adapting the plant material to the future. For complex traits, genomic selection is also a promising method for predicting phenotypes. However, ecophysiological modelling is necessary to better anticipate the phenotypes in unexplored climatic conditions Genetic approaches applied on parameters of ecophysiological models rather than raw observed data are more than ever the basis for finding, or building, the ideal varieties of the future.

Author: Éric Duchêne

SVQV, University of Strasbourg, INRAE, Colmar, France

Keywords: grapevine, varieties, genetics, modelling

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