Vine plant material: situation and prospect

vine plant material is one of the major factors of terroir. The vine numbers over 1,000 species, of which the main cultivated species, Vitis vinifera, includes some 6,000 varieties. For the last forty years, selection has been carried out on these, mainly through clonal selection. However, today, only 300 varieties present one or more clones. A dozen varieties are considered as international. The extreme requirements of selection, in terms of diseases, provoke the elimination of the majority of selected plants. This approach to selection is not thorough because it focuses mainly on elimination of virosis and phytoplasma diseases.
The only way to preserve vine biodiversity is mass selection. If the international vineyard community fails to preserve the genetic resources of viticulture, vine selection in the future will be limited to crossbreeding or genome modification. Yet even these approaches require considerable biodiversity. It is necessary to create a world inventory of old (more than forty years) vine plots, and to ban pulling up before sampling for selection. Mass selection has to be financed by all the actors of the wine and vine business in order to preserve access for all vine growers. International technical and financial assistance has to be rapidly implemented.

Authors: Jean-Philippe ROBY (1), Louis BORDENAVE (2), Elisa MARGUERIT (1) and Cornelis Van LEEUWEN (1)

(1) ENITA de Bordeaux, 1 cours du Général De Gaulle, CS 40201, 33175 Gradignan cedex, France
(2) INRA de Bordeaux, Domaine de la Grande Ferrade, 71, avenue Édouard-Bourlaux, B.P.81, 33883 Villenave d’Ornon cedex, France


Keywords: Vine, Vitis vinifera L., biodiversity, clone, selection

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