Minutes of the Grape Crop Germplasm Committee
January 5, 2006
3053 Wickson Hall, UC-Davis, Davis,  CA 95616



Members present:

Andy Walker, Vit. & Enol., UC Davis CA
Michael Streim, Sunworld, Bakersfield CA
Kendra Baumgartner, USDA ARS Plant Pathology Davis CA
Peter Cousins, NYAES-PGRU-USDA-ARS Geneva NY
Jiang Lu, Florida A & M Univ. Tallahassee FL
Mark Bohning, Natl. Germpl. Resources Lab, Beltsville MD
Bruce Reisch, Cornell Univ., NY
Lance Cadle-Davidson, NYAES-PGRU-USDA-ARS Geneva NY
David Cain, International Fruit Genetics, Bakersfield CA
Andrew Reynolds, Brock Univ., Ontario, Canada
Heidi Schwaninger, NYAES-PGRU-USDA-ARS Geneva NY

Others present:

Ed Stover, NCGR-USDA-ARS, Davis CA
Philip Forsline, NYAES-PGRU-USDA-ARS Geneva NY
Charles Simon, PGRU-USDA-ARS Geneva NY
Bernard Prins, NCGR-USDA-ARS, Davis CA

Members absent:
Wayne Wilcox, plant pathologist, NYSAES Geneva NY
Greg English –Loeb, Department of Entomology, NYSAES, Geneva NY
Carmo Vasconcelos, Oregon State Univ., OR
Alan Stoner, Natl. Germpl. Resources Lab, Beltsville MD
Robert Pool, NYAES Cornell Univ., NY
Nancy Irelan E & J Gallo Winery, Modesto CA
Phil Freese, Wine Grow, CA
Charles Hossom, Columbia Crest Winery, WA
Richard Gahagan, BATF Fresno CA
Robert Wample, California State Univ., Fresno CA
Barry Comeaux, Sunset LA
Jim Luby, U of Minn., St. Paul MN
Tim Bourne, Sunview Vineyards, Delano CA


Andy Walker chaired the meeting.  Peter Cousins and Michael Striem approved the minutes from the 2005 meeting as per a motion.  It was noted that Lance Cadle-Davidson is a member and should be listed as such.

Mark Bohning gave some highlights from a report by Peter Bretting at the ASEA meetings.  The past fiscal year has seen a slight increase for genetic resources.  We are still a high priority.  We are presently working under a continuing resolution this fiscal year.  Maybe the budget will be passed in early 2007.

Ed heard at the PWA conference that there were rumors of an all year continuing resolution with a 6% reduction from the previous year.  This was presented as the worst case scenario.

Many countries are now parties to the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, and its provisions will markedly affect germplasm exchange.  They are working out a standard material transfer agreement in ongoing talks.  Hopefully the USA will be able to agree to it.

Mark also reported on the GRIN lab in Beltsville.  There were two main points:  1) The public face of GRIN needs to be more friendly.  (Ed is the chair of the subcommittee to make improvements.)  Cosmetic changes that could be made quickly are already in place.  Much of the underlining code will need to be streamlined.  There needs to be one point of entry instead of many.  There is one individual who has been dedicated to this project.  2) Molecular data and linking to genome databases.  (Chris Richards and Gayle Volk are on the subcommittee working on this.)  They will soon test a loading of blueberry data.  They are starting to look at how to link to genomic databases already established for crops like maize, rice, and wheat.  It is anticipated that the molecular data for some of the smaller crops (e.g. blueberry) will be completely on GRIN.  Andy mentioned that there will be complete grape genome sequence data from Italy and from France.  The one from Italy may be public.  Ed wondered if for grapes maybe we should host the genome database at UC-Davis and link to GRIN or place the data on GRIN.  He also wondered if we should place a centralized grape fingerprint database at UC-Davis or on GRIN. 

Mark also mentioned that Alan Stoner’s position is open and Gary Canard is now the acting leader.  Currently the Beltsville budget is tight – they are offering early retirement packages to decrease salary costs.  By February things should be sorted out and a position description should be out by Spring.

Andy said that at the meeting for CGC chairs they talked about GRIN.    Andy thought that there was a need for a different format for these meetings with the chairs giving input rather than listening to lectures.

Report from Geneva

Phil Forsline sent out copies of his report.  Chuck Simon, Angela Baldo, and Heidi Schwaninger helped to write the report.  He will cover some of the highlights.  They acquired more Elmer Swanson grapes from Tom Plocher.  They increased the number of customers. Lance Cadle-Davidson was the main user of the collection.  Updates were made on the core collection.  There were also personnel changes.  They became a location with 10 scientists and now an 11th.  Amanda, Peter, Phil, and now Chris have taken turns as acting leaders.  Chuck Simon’s technician moved to Amanda’s laboratory, leaving a vacancy.  They also regained a field position that had been open.  Dianne Emerson came back to the administrative office.  They are borrowing space from the University.

Peter Cousins talked about the Grape Genetic Research Unit.  It is planning a facility for 8 scientists.  The building date for this facility is unknown as there is currently no budget.

Chuck Simon mentioned several projects that he is currently involved with.  1) He is working on an NRI project with Bruce Reisch.  Chuck and Angela Baldo joined this project, which involves mapping work.  2) Angela has a second project working with Anne Fennel.  3) A broad diversity study with 300 accessions and 20 genes.  Angela is doing the lab work and processing.  4) Meeting with Wilda Martinez, Ed Stover, Malli Aradhya, Bruce Reisch and others.  The two repositories are coordinating.  The project involves 3 sets of 384 individuals in vinifera and American mapping populations.  It will involve both phenotyping and genotyping.  Currently there is a 6 million dollar stumbling block, but Wilma Martinez is helping in pursuing more money.  5) A complete fingerprinting of all grapes from both repositories.  Wilda Martinez allocated 40 K of her year-end money and there is also 40 K from Duane Buxton.  Money will be split up proportionally to the amount of material at the two sites.  There will be close coordination between the two sites.

Heidi with the help of Lance is doing several experiments to see which SSR loci to use.  They are trying 12 loci, including 6 vinifera loci and 6 riparia loci to balance the loci between the two species.  The PCR is not yet multiplexed.

Chuck also mentioned a staffing change.  Heidi is now the grape specialist in Geneva somewhat like Bernie is in Davis.  They have different backgrounds, but both are the point persons.

Phil mentioned the GRIN site management meeting in September.  It was rainy, but a good experience.  Ed and Mark were also present.  Mark mentioned that in the past this meeting has been somewhat of a show for the national group.  This year there was more input from the users.  The field tours were informative for the computer programming people.  They saw that GRIN is a small part of what happens at the sites. 

Bruce noticed that in Phil’s report there is an increase in users of the collections.  He wondered if Lon Rombough’s book has made the collections apparent to more people.  He asked if Ed noticed the same thing.  Ed thought that the new web site may bring in new users.  He has been taking the approach that amateurs may constitute an important customer base.  If you look at national statistics, and assume that there is one tree per household that would add up to 400,000 acres of trees.  Phil says that he also has taken the approach that the hobbyists are important.  Ed noted that the California Rare Fruit Growers group has been very active.  They act as an unofficial backup for many accessions.

Report from Davis

There is new staff at the Davis location.  Diane Velasco is a 180-day technician with half of her time dedicated to SSR fingerprinting of all grapes.  They are attempting to purchase a new centrifuge as part of this process.  Jenny Hansen has been hired in a permanent federal position.  She has been a very important part of the Davis staff.  Another new development is the National Grape Registry website, which will be a national database of all genotypes in the USA.  This includes nurseries, FPS, repositories and others.  Ed is the PI on the proposal.  Davis has the most grapes in its collection.  We are using this opportunity to update the inventory and to clean up data.  He has not yet received the funding, but has already started the work.  Nancy Sweet has already been hired and is working.  This project will take two years to complete.  Input is wanted from all.  In the management of the collection, 377 field plantings have been made.  Mislabeled items that have been found as a result of walk-through’s with Andy Walker, Jean Micheal Borsiquot, Peter Cousins and SSR fingerprinting done by Bud Dangl.  They will be labeled with orange metal tags.  Past customers will be notified of these findings.

Ed also mentioned that they are starting to virus test the Davis accessions.  Cleaning up the viruses will make the grape collection more useful.  They have antibodies for 8 viruses.  They are testing for leaf-roll virus 1, 2, 3, and 5.  About 78% of the plants tested have been infected with a leaf-roll virus.  They may start testing initially for leaf-roll virus in the future, since almost all infected vines also have leafroll.  George White and Chuck Simon brought in grapes from Turkmenistan that received minimal testing with herbaceous indicators.  Based on this these plants were allowed into the country, but not released from quarantine.  They have been in limbo for almost 10 years.  There is $20,000 that is granted to UCD in lieu of rent.  This money is used for grants, some of which will now be used to support the woody indicator testing that will be needed for these plants to be released from quarantine.

In other reports, it was found that one plant “from Afghanistan” was actually Cabernet Sauvignon.  In the tissue culture project, equipment failures reduced the 98 accessions in culture to only 10 accessions.  Several items of commercial interest will be cleaned up by FPS.  We continue to have backups of our grape plants in the screen-houses.  The recently established crop management calendars have enhanced management of the vineyards, with cleaner budwood and healthier grapes for characterization.  The automatic drip irrigation of our screen-house pots continues to save us time and money, as does the mechanical pre-pruning of our grapes before the pruning crew prunes the grape vineyards. 

There is now two years of data on the Iberian grapes in our collection that has been collected by Randy Heinzen.  Fingerprint data have also been collected for the Iberian grapes.  This year we will be assessing and taking morphological data from our 152 Greek grapes accessions.

Michael Striem asked how many standard SSR markers are used.  Ed answered – 8 markers. 

Ed also said that they are assessing the putative parents of breeder programs with Bruce Reisch.  They are looking at the Criolla grapes and also at the origins of Norton.  Pinot is not a parent of Norton. 

He is also involved in the NE1020 project.  It will depend on funding, but they plan to look at 60 different varieties.   They will need in-kind support from industry, especially for winemaking trials, some of which may be provided by Gallo. 

They plan to take data on the Italian grapes, and would like guidance.

New accessions at Davis include Eastern European materials from Bob Goodman.  Also there was a trip to Georgia and Armenia by Ed.  Bud-wood was collected in collaboration with Margie Luffman of AgCanada, and material is in quarantine in British Columbia.    He collected some female cultivars which he suggests that may be only a few generations removed from wild selections.  They found one red and one white grape on the site of mount Ararat the local story is that they came from Noah’s ark.  Michael Striem asked about seedless grapes in Armenia and Georgia, but Ed said there seemed to be no local cultivars of seedless grapes, but they are starting to grow international seedless grapes.  Armenia has own rooted grapes in some regions and the country has excluded foreign grapes to prevent introduction of phylloxera.  They provide an opportunity to look at the viruses in these grapes (The viruses are not pan-global) and study virus origins.  Grapes were also received from the Geneva collection, mostly non-cold hardy vinifera and some Chinese species.  Ed wants to know about any collections that may be in jeopardy.    Bruce had a couple of questions.  He is expecting Georgian visitors in late march 2007, and asked for the names of cultivars.  Ed said that the Greek and Iberian data are online on GRIN.  The data will be on GRIN and on spreadsheets at our website.  Afghan data will be uploaded in about a month, and others in about a month.  They are still busy cleaning up the data.

Status of Exploration trips

Ed in regards to the Postman/Meyer collection.  They are tracking down the V. sylvestris seed lots.  We need to develop a better system for seeds.

Peter in regards to the Prins/Cousins Mexico trip.  The seed germination was a failure.
Peter in regards to a future Taiwan trip.  It is postponed at the moment. 

Heidi spoke in regards V. mustangensis exploration trip of Heidi Schwaninger / Leslie Goertzen /Penny Adams/Barry Comeaux trip.  Collected many cuttings but not many seeds.  She has a list of accessions; there are 206 or 212 of them.  The cuttings were rooted at Geneva, but some were lost.  They are working to move the cuttings to California.  They will also send seeds in January.  They also collected dried leaf material for DNA work.  She will send some pictures of the collection trip.  The trip covered 7000 miles in 38 days.  They found the population of V. mustangensis from Alabama.  Andy asked several questions.  In regards to the distribution of V. shuttleworthii and how far it extended from Tampa Bay.  “What is the southernmost dot in Florida?”  Was there V. mustangensis in Louisiana?  The easternmost known sites are near Prince Charles in the middle of Louisiana in marshland.   Heidi looked for V. mustangensis south of New Orleans, and could not find the mustangensis that was reported there.  She thinks that there may have been a mis-identification in the herbarium.

Ed spoke about the Armenia/Georgia trip.  He collected 10 seed-lots of V. syvestris.  All parts of these countries seem to have been touched by man’s hand, and distinguishing truly wild grapes from feral grapes is very difficult.  It is hard to find truly wild areas.  Found one site with very small berries and very old vines.  They will have to be planted to see if they are dioecious.  Many plants did not have fruit.  Some were found with tomentose leaves and one with white berries.    Interestingly, most of Armenian viticulture is in cold areas which require vines to be buried every winter.  One hybrid was collected from a forth generation backcross with V. amurensis.  It is reported to be hardy to minus 35 degrees and a tinturier.  The old Soviet grape collection had 1000 varieties that had already been collected at an earlier time.  One idea that Ed floated was to fund a meristem culture lab in Armenia or Georgia.  The accessions could be cleaned up for local use and also so they could be brought to North America with less expense.  Ed will try to bring Armenian and Georgian scientists into the NCGR to look at diversity within their local varieties. Ned Garvey funded an earlier project to collect sylvestris in Armenia and seed will be planted out. 
Peter collected 85 V. berlandierii seed lots with scientists from the Geisenheim Reseach Centre, Institue for Viticulture and Grapevine Breeding, Germany.  Ed said that we need to start storing seed accessions.  The Corvallis repository does this.  Phil said that Geneva does this with apples and Bruce mentioned that it is done with a few grape seed samples as well.

Lance talked about a project to evaluate foliar symptoms of downy mildew and powdery mildew.  They looked at resistance to a single isolate of each fungus and also at resistance to natural populations.  They looked for a diversity of resistance.  It was a huge success.  The study is complete.  They screened the entire Geneva collection to a single isolate of powdery mildew and downy mildew.  They did an ontological resistance study and found a large amount of resistance.  There was a large amount of variation within species.  There was race specificity in both powdery mildew and downy mildew.  The experiments need to be repeated to confirm the field ratings.  There is ontogenic resistance. The amount of resistance in the fruit changes as the fruit grows and ages.  Young and old leaves have age and genotype specific resistance.  They will have to sort out the genetics; there are tens of thousands of data points.  The plan is to have it analyzed by April 2007, and published by the end of next year.  Bruce asked if the entire core was included?  Lance stated that 70% of the core and also other accessions.

Lance stated that he did not receive a request for a proposal, and had not submitted one for this year.  Andy stated that the proposal should be sent in anyway.  Ed mentioned that he had worked with Andy, Malli, and Summaira to develop a proposal because no other proposal had been submitted, but encouraged Lance to submit a proposal to continue his resistance project.

Andy asked Bruce for a REQ report.  Bruce answered that 3-4 importations from the Institute for Grapevine Breeding Geilweilerhof, Germany were in progress.  Bruce is the only one using the site.  So far there has been only one accession that he was not allowed to plant outside.  Two accessions, Kuhlman hybrids, were sent to FPS.  Some changes had been made.  They needed to change Dennis Gonsalves/Bob Pool as the permit holders.  Both are gone and there is a lot of pressure to replace them.  Tom Bird has submitted paperwork to this effect.  Mark Fuchs is overseeing the testing.  Things are progressing.  Andy asked for details about the identity of one plant with problems?  Bruce said that all the plants are hot water dipped.  This plant had had possible leaf-roll virus.  Both chenopodium and elisa assays are done.  The permit specifies specific viruses.  They are testing for more than what is needed for the 1996 permit.  The program could be expanded, but that would take time and work.  The needs to be a large amount of coordination with other countries.  Things must be done exactly right – possible issues include testy inspectors and mis-labeled materials.  Andy asked what happens to material after it goes through FPS?  Bruce said that materials that are put into the FPS system will be available at FPS, there will then be two distribution points.  FPS will charge a royalty.  Andy asked about the charges?  Bruce said that FPS will recoup their cost from fees, and that FPS also charges overseas people $1500 per accession.  It is hard for Bruce to send things overseas, but FPS will allow overseas testing.  Ed stated that FPS fees are based on the need for FPS programs to be completely funded by user fees.  The cost of importation, quarantine, and cleanup through FPS reflects their actual costs. The CDFA Industry Advisory Board does provide some money to clean up newly imported accessions which have promise.  Deborah is doing about 20 items per year.

Ed talked to Mark Fuchs about about the importation, quarantine, and cleanup in NY.  Marc reports that discussions are ongoing and they hope to get some support form the state of New York. 

Bruce can provide contact, Jim Bedient of the New York State Wine Grape Growers.  Jim said they would pay $1000 for the quarantine of the Armenian and Georgian varieties.  The $1000 would be used as a starting point.

Ed mentioned that for other woody crops such as Prunus. Malus, Pyrus and Rubus, funding for importation, quarantine, and cleanup is handled quite differently than for the grape program.  Federal funding is provided for a program which permits 10-50 accessions of each genus to be brought in every year at no charge to the requester.

Michael Striem is happy that traminette is now at FPS – it is a great variety.  Ed mentioned that it is also in the NE1020 trial.

Phil asked how the British Columbia connection worked.  Ed replied that Margie is a cooperator and Ken Richards of Canada also helped.  Ed asked Peter Bretting for permission to explore this option and Peter liked the concept.  .

Andy asked about the possible dates for the next CGC meeting, which will be held with the North American Grape Breeders meeting in Northern California.  It will include one day at Davis, one day at Fresno, and one day of traveling.  Bruce stated that the International Grape Breeders meeting is in the Summer/Fall of 2010, before September 21. 
Ed had a few questions:  At the last meeting he asked to be made aware of collections at risk, and took advantage of the following opportunities:  Missouri, Zehnder, and Fresno rootstocks.

Peter Cousins talked about acquiring the Zehnder records and storing them at Geneva. 

The Olmo records are to being sent to the UC-Davis Shields library archives.  It includes a county file going back to 1910, includes all of his correspondence.  There is also a rumored Biolletti black book that has not been seen.  Will need approval from Dr. Olmo’s daughter Genie. 

Bruce Riesch mentioned that John Einstead’s notes are also in the Geneva library.

Ed mentioned the need for a characterization plan for the NCGR grape collection, in part to provide guidance for future NPGS characterization proposals.  He cautioned that a stagnant base budget is causing loss of the positions at the NCGR, which had focused on accession characterization . 

Peter Cousins and Michael Striem moved to close the meeting.

Ed mentioned that next summer in July, the ASHS meeting is in Arizona.  He asked if people could bring table grapes to show there.  He president of the pomological society, and needs a hands-on workshop.

List of handouts:

-2005 Grape CGC minutes
-Report from Phil Forsline
-Report from Ed Stover