Grapevine Genetics and Genomics (Vitigen)

Group members: 
José Miguel Martínez Zapater : 
Profesor de Investigación CSIC
Javier Ibáñez: 
Científico Titular CSIC
Carolina Royo: 
Investigadora contratada
Yolanda Ferradás: 
Becaria de Investigación
Javier Tello: 
Investigador contratado Juan de la Cierva
Noelia Alañón: 
Investigadora en formación
Miguel Angulo: 
Auxiliar de Investigación I+D+I
Collaborator researchers: 
Pablo Carbonell-Bejerano: 
Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology
Research goals

Our research group is interested in grapevine genetics, in particular in two aspects of great relevance: the estimation and characterization of the existing genetic diversity (at the species, subspecies and variety levels) and the study of the genetic mechanisms responsible for the reproductive development of the vine, focused on characters with impact on the production and quality of grapes and wine.

Our approach is based on exploring, characterizing and using the natural genetic variation that exists in grapevine and in developing and using genetic and genomic tools that allow uncovering the genetic and molecular basis of the observed phenotypic variation.

For these purposes, we developed two main lines of activity:

1. Prospection, collection, conservation and genetic and phenotypic characterization of grapevine genetic resources from around the world: wild vines, varieties, somatic variants (including clones) and segregating progenies. This line is based on the correct genotyping of these resources through molecular markers (SNP and / or microsatellites). The database of SNP markers generated in our group after the analysis of thousands of vine samples allows the adequate cataloging of genetic resources, and is essential for varietal identification and determination of synonyms and homonyms. Also, this genetic database allows us to address historical studies such as the domestication of the wild vine, the genetic origin of the varieties, their kinship relationships, or the grapevine variety migrations.

Another objective of this line is to provide new genetic tools to study the genetic control of relevant agronomic traits, including the search for somatic variants, the generation of progenies of crosses and self-crosses, the prospection of varieties and the creation of nuclear collections, as well as its phenotyping for several years for the traits of interest.

2. Understand the molecular basis of the variation for traits of agronomic interest. These include fertility, precocity, flowering and fruit set, architecture and compactness of the bunch, color, size and shape of the berry or the presence of seeds. The objective of this line is to search for genes and genetic polymorphisms responsible for the natural variation for these characters using available genetic resources and tools such as NGS, transcriptomics, genomics, QTLs analysis and genetic association.

The tools and knowledge generated in these lines of research have direct applications in varietal identification or in the monitoring of the development of the grapevine or its response to different environmental or cultivation conditions. Likewise, they are applicable in clonal selection programs to obtain new clones and in breeding programs to support the selection of new varieties, as well as in the improvement of cultural practices, all focused on responding to the new challenges of present and future viticulture.

Vitigen Results

Recent relevant publications

Maraš, V., J. Tello, A. Gazivoda, M. Mugoša, M. Perišić, J. Raičević, N. Štajner, R. Ocete, V. Božović, T. Popović, E. García-Escudero, M. Grbić, J.M. Martínez-Zapater, and J. Ibáñez. 2020. Population genetic analysis in old Montenegrin vineyards reveals ancient ways currently active to generate diversity in Vitis vinifera. Sci. Rep. 10, 15000 .

Tello, J., R. Torres-Pérez, T. Flutre, J. Grimplet, and J. Ibáñez. 2020. VviUCC1 Nucleotide Diversity, Linkage Disequilibrium and Association with Rachis Architecture Traits in Grapevine. Genes 11.

Ibáñez, J., E. Baroja, J. Grimplet, and S. Ibáñez. 2020. Cultivated Grapevine Displays a Great Diversity for Reproductive Performance Variables. Crop Breed. Genet. Genom. 2020;2(1):e200003.

Grimplet, J., S. Ibáñez, E. Baroja, J. Tello, and J. Ibáñez. 2019. Phenotypic, Hormonal, and Genomic Variation Among Vitis vinifera Clones With Different Cluster Compactness and Reproductive Performance. Front. Plant Sci. 9:19.

Rodriguez-Lorenzo, M., J.F. Cibriain, A. Sagues, F.J. Abad, J.M. Martinez-Zapater, and J. Ibáñez. 2019. Intra-varietal diversity for agronomic traits in 'Garnacha Blanca'. Vitis 58:33-35.

Royo, C., R. Torres-Perez, N. Mauri, N. Diestro, J.A. Cabezas, C. Marchal, T. Lacombe, J. Ibáñez, M. Tornel, J. Carreno, J.M. Martinez-Zapater, and P. Carbonell-Bejerano. 2018. The Major Origin of Seedless Grapes Is Associated with a Missense Mutation in the MADS-Box Gene VviAGL11. Plant Physiol. 177:1234-1253.

Tello, J., and J. Ibáñez. 2018. What do we know about grapevine bunch compactness? A state-of-the-art review. Aust. J. Grape Wine Res. 24:6-23.

Tello, J., M.I. Montemayor, A. Forneck, and J. Ibáñez. 2018. A new image-based tool for the high throughput phenotyping of pollen viability: evaluation of inter- and intra-cultivar diversity in grapevine. Plant Methods 14.

Canaguier, A., J. Grimplet et al. 2017. A new version of the grapevine reference genome assembly (12X.v2) and of its annotation (VCost.v3). Genomics Data 14:56-62.

Carbonell-Bejerano, P., C. Royo, R. Torres-Perez, J. Grimplet, L. Fernandez, J.M. Franco-Zorrilla, D. Lijavetzky, E. Baroja, J. Martinez, E. Garcia-Escudero, J. Ibáñez, and J.M. Martinez-Zapater. 2017. Catastrophic Unbalanced Genome Rearrangements Cause Somatic Loss of Berry Color in Grapevine. Plant Physiol. 175:786-801.

Grimplet, J., D. Pimentel, P. Agudelo-Romero, J.M. Martinez-Zapater, and A.M. Fortes. 2017. The LATERAL ORGAN BOUNDARIES Domain gene family in grapevine: genome-wide characterization and expression analyses during developmental processes and stress responses. Sci. Rep. 7:18.