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    February 2013                         Common Ground; Innovative Research            NGWI.ORG

In This Issue
NGWI Elects 2013 Officers and Board Members
VitisGen Project Focuses on Isolation of Powdery Mildew Gene in Grapes

Calendar of Events

WA Association

of Wine Grape Growers

Annual Meeting

Kennewick, WA

February 5-8, 2013


Midwest Grape & Wine Conference and Trade Show
February 7-9, 2013
St. Charles, MO

Michigan Grape & Wine Conference
February 13-15, 2013
East Lansing, MI

Oregon Wine Industry Symposium
February 19-20, 2013
Portland, OR

Cold Climate Conference 2013
February 21-23, 2013
St. Paul, MN

Eastern Winery Exposition
March 6-7, 2013
Lancaster, PA

Wineries Unlimited
March 12-14, 2013
Richmond, VA

NGWI Spring Board Meeting and Joint Meeting with USDA/ARS
USDA Agency Headquarters
Beltsville, MD
March 20-21, 2013


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The National Grape and Wine Initiative focuses on research and extension to strengthen the US grape and grape product industries in partnership with academics and government. Grapes are the nation's leading specialty crop and all industry segments including raisin, juice, fresh grape and wine created the NGWI coalition to drive research for maximum productivity, sustainability and competitiveness. NGWI aims to lead the world in consumer value and quality.  

NGWI Elects 2013 Officers and Members 


The new NGWI leadership team for 2013 was announced at its annual meeting, January 28, 2013. By unanimous vote, Vicky Scharlau of the Washington Association of Wine Grape Growers was elected to a second term as chair of NGWI, a nationwide coalition representing all segments of the grape industry including raisins, juice, fresh grapes and wine, according to NGWI officials.


"Vicky has a solid vision for the organization, stressing NGWI's work to bring the industry together to work as a single unit to drive game-changing research," said Jean-Mari Peltier, president of the national organization. "We are looking forward to building on last year's successes of our leadership team."


NGWI announced the addition of two new Board members for 2013. Rock Stephens, from The Vineyard at Point Breeze will represent the South-East. Nat DiBuduo, President of Allied Grape Growers was elected as a Representative At Large.  


Additionally the following were re-elected officers for 2013: Rick Stark of the California Raisin Marketing Board as Vice Chair, Richard Smith of California's Paraiso Vineyards as Secretary-Treasurer and John Martini of New York's Anthony Road Winery as Past Chair.


NGWI also elected the following to terms ending in 2015:


-   John Martini, Anthony Road Winery, NY

-   Craig Bardwell, National Grape Co-operative/Welch's

-   Kathleen Nave, California Table Grape Commission

-   Jim Trezise, New York Wine & Grape Foundation

-   Tom Danowski, Oregon Wine Board

-   Camron King, Lodi Winegrape Commission


VitisGen Project Focuses on Isolation of Powdery Mildew Gene in Grapes

Lance Cadle-Davidson
Dr. Lance

Dr. Cadle-Davidson, project co-leader and plant pathologist with the USDA's Agricultural Research Service, provided an update on the VitisGen project at the January 28 meeting of the NGWI Board of Directors. He noted that this is a 5-year $9 million project ($4.5 million of Federal support) from USDA-NIFA Specialty Crops Research Initiative, combining expertise of breeders, geneticists, pathologists, physiologists, chemists, enologists, computational biologists, sociologists, economists, and the grape industry.


Dr. Cadle-Davidson noted the desired outcomes from the project include better varieties produced at a lower cost, more sustainability and less environmental impact, varieties less prone to catastrophic crop loss and improved taste. The project would help breeders identify better "parents" to produce the desirable traits. He also noted that Extension will play a key role in communicating this complex information to the industry.


The project has made tremendous strides in identifying molecular markers linked to traits being sought after in the study. For example, the project proposed to improve marker density above 15,000 markers per individual; instead the team has improved density to more than 25,000! They brought down the cost of sampling, and improved the throughput of identifying the location of specific genes. Dr. Cadle-Davidson noted that the next steps will include a case study on the Ren4 gene and powdery mildew resistance.


In response to a question, Dr. Cadle-Davidson indicated that the project team would be willing to add phenotyping of additional traits of importance to the grape industry. The industry, including grape breeders, will work to identify other key traits, such as plant architecture and flavor components.