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Sa Fruit Journal 2021 04 A Grapevine Breeding Graphic
April / May 2021

The Complexities of Grapevine Breeding

SA Fruit Journal: April / May 2021

There are several challenges that one may be faced with when breeding novel grapevine cultivars. Chief amongst these is the large investment of both time and financial resources without the guarantee of desired outcomes. By Justin Lashbrooke (Researcher, SAGWRI, Stellenbosch University)

Prior to the advent of molecular breeding and marker assisted selection there was little that could be done to overcome the fact that crossing two parent lines possessing traits of interest did not necessarily result in progeny with those same traits. In theory marker assisted selection allows us to breed in a more targeted approach and maintain all the traits in which one is interested. However, in practice, in grapevine, this is not necessarily the case. Primarily this is because, outside of mildew resistance, extremely few genetic markers have been developed for grapevine. What this means in practical terms is that researchers are yet to link genetic variation with traits.

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