Development of Breeding Lines and Molecular Tools for Selection of Grapevines with Altered Canopy Dynamics via Dissected Foliar Morphology

Project Overview

Project Type: Graduate Student
Funds awarded in 2019: $14,951.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2021
Grant Recipient: North Dakota State University
Region: North Central
State: North Dakota
Graduate Student:
Faculty Advisor:
Harlene Hatterman-Valenti
North Dakota State University
Faculty Advisor:
Dr. Xuehui Li
North Dakota State University


  • Fruits: grapes


  • Crop Production: crop improvement and selection, plant breeding and genetics

    Proposal abstract:

    With the goal of sustainably and holistically reducing producer expenditures towards labor, chemical, and equipment resources for the economic management of grapevine canopies and diseases, this proposal seeks to pursue a novel genetic avenue of canopy management. Towards alternatively alleviating the substantial chemical demands associated with grapevine fruit and canopy protection, unique grape germplasm will be explored. Specifically, lacelike leaf shape, a foliar trait under genetic control, will be characterized within segregating populations constructed from crosses between cold-hardy genotypes with simple, wild type leaves, and a mutant, cold-tender, Vitis vinifera L. cultivar with a highly dissected, nearly compound, lacinate leaf trait, ‘Chasselas Ciotat’. The unique leaves of ‘Chasselas Ciotat’ provide the opportunity for increased light and wind penetration within the canopy, potentially reducing overhead costs of both cultural maintenance and pesticide applications for producers.

    On-going work within our lab has discovered the lacinate leaf trait is heritable in ‘Chasselas Ciotat’ derived self-progeny, but it is not dominant to wild-type leaves in F1 crosses. This indicates the necessity of both further exploration of its inheritance in segregating progeny and development of molecular markers for incorporation of the trait into diverse genotypic backgrounds. Following the creation of segregating populations through self and test-crosses with ‘Chasselas Ciotat’, leaf traits will be analyzed using chi-square tests to determine inheritance of qualitative traits. Qualitative analysis will be combined with quantitative leaf trait evaluation, measured through digital image processing techniques. These quantitative and qualitative data will be integrated with molecular characterization of the populations, thus enabling the identification of valuable Quantitative Trait Loci (QTL) to enhance marker assisted selection in future populations. The leaf trait will be beneficially combined with the North Dakota State University Grape Germplasm Enhancement Project’s program goals of integrating resistance traits against fungal pests such as powdery mildew and black rot into promising cold-hardy, interspecific Vitis spp. selections. Through dissemination of results in the form of germplasm for the North Central U.S. grape growing community, and through the dispersal of plant material and relevant molecular marker and linkage associations via referred publication, this project has the potential for substantial economic outcomes for growers across the Midwest and throughout the greater North American grape growing community in which canopy management for disease reduction and fruit quality improvement is a chief, annual concern. Simultaneously, extension activities such as notes, grower talks, and field-days strive to further expose regional grape-growers to results and progress.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    Learning Outcomes: 4.6 Awareness of new alternative agricultural practices. [Development of genetic alternatives for canopy management]

    • Focusing on reaching regional grape growers and educating them on new alternative agricultural practices, this project seeks to demonstrate breeding and cultivar development as an alternative method for grapevine canopy management and chemical mitigation.
    • The tasks of extending educational resources will be accomplished through developing New Information via Output 3.2 to be distributed to growers through Output 3.3 and 9 (Educational Programs and Extension Notes).

    Action Outcomes: 5.3 New research that builds on previous SARE funded R&E projects. [Development of future projects building on the successful completion of this project]

    • Both the student and the advisor will strive to leverage this funded projects’ populations, genetic data, and germplasm towards pursuing future research projects on both the intra- and inter-university level following completion of this project.

    Further learning and action outcomes will be accomplished through output 3.7 scientific journal articles and germplasm resources distributed to the research and grape breeding community.

    • New understandings of the heritability of qualitative and quantitative leaf traits in grapevines with a focus on dissecting the inheritance of a novel, nearly compound lacinate leaf trait will enable breeding efforts to incorporate germplasm and lessons learned.
    • Characterization of important Quantitative Trait Loci highly associated with foliar phenotypes to enable implementation of marker-assisted selection for precise decision-making, saving time, labor, and resources in cultivar development.
    • Distribution of useful germplasm with the lacinate leaf trait, to enable broader impact outside of the NDSU GGEP.
    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.