Grape genetic research in the age of pangenomes

Genetic approaches towards better Grape & Wine Quality
Combined improvements in sequencing technologies and assembly algorithms have led to staggering improvements in the quality of grape genome assemblies. Completely phased haplotypes have been instrumental to advances in grape research due to high heterozygosity, structural variation, and gene content variability across homologous chromosomes.  Phased assemblies of grape genomes have revealed genomic complexities that were inaccessible in previous haploid representations, such as haplotype-specific structural variation events, trait-associated alleles, and allele-specific gene expression and methylation. The availability of wild and cultivated grape diploid genome references containing the genes and alleles underlying traits of interest has been instrumental in dissecting the genetic basis of disease resistance, flower sex determination, aroma, and flavor. User-friendly web platforms, like www.grapegenomics.com, have played a critical role in rapidly and broadly sharing genomic data and tools, and foster multidisciplinary collaborations and progress in grape research. 

Author: Dario Cantu1*

1Department of Viticulture & Enology

*corresponding author: dacantu@ucdavis.edu

Keywords: assembly of diploid genome references, comparative genomics, genomic structural variability, genetic diversity, public resources 

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