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Characterising genomic diversity in Australia’s grapevine germplasm



This project aims to understand the clonal diversity in Chardonnay, distinguish the relationships between genetic diversity and phenotypic characteristics and provide molecular tests for identifying grapevine clones, varieties and rootstocks by DNA certification.


The identification of grapevine varieties is complex due to the legacy of many centuries of cultivation in many countries, and the significant movement of material between regions and countries. Using microsatellite and single-nucleotide polymorphism DNA markers, a reliable identification of grapevine varieties can be achieved. However, high quality reference genomes are required to understand and to map the genomic variation in the grapevine, which is responsible for phenotypical and functional differences between varieties and clones.

Grapevine planting material represents a major investment and is a critical production asset for the Australian wine sector, but it is one area in which the genetic diversity that is present in Australia is poorly understood. The enabling technology for reference genome construction in the grapevine is in rapid development, and this project will build on know-how and tools developed through previous projects with Australian and international partners.

Research approach

Using the latest long-read genome sequencing technologies, high-performance computing and customised bioinformatics tools, this project will provide foundational data about the genetic diversity in Chardonnay that is available to Australian grapegrowers.

Sector benefits

The sector has an improved understanding of the genetic resource pool available in Australia’s grapevine germplasm.