Preservation and establishment of true-to-type and virus free material of endangered grapevine cultivars in Croatia and Montenegro

Project ID: ERA 91
Funding including national funding and EC funding:
Total costs: 135,000 € SEE-ERA.NET PLUS funding: 122,400 €
Project duration: 01.10.2010 / 30.09.2012

The viticulture has a very long (lasting) tradition and plays a significant role in the agricultural sector of the WBC partner countries. Both, Croatia and Montenegro are countries that base their development on sustainable agriculture and on strong tourism. The strategy of tourism improvement relies on authenticity and unique natural resources. Local autochthonous crops and their products are an essential factor. Among them, wine produced from local varieties has the highest recognition and potential. The region hosts numerous indigenous (autochthonous) grape varieties which will irreversibly disappear in the near future due to several reasons. Some local varieties are either almost forgotten (reliable determination not possible, so called “no name” material) or they are, due to the lack of high performing virus-free propagation material out of scope of commercial nurseries and producers. To overcome this it is necessary to ensure an effective cultivar preservation system linked to practical viticulture and nursery production. This is a very complex task, which requires an interdisciplinary approach and expensive facilities. This can be very demanding for small developing countries passing transition such as Croatia or Montenegro. However, the importance of grapevine genetic resources for the national heritage of these countries and future breeding activities goes beyond national borders and hence, should be handled through international and interdisciplinary research. The aim of this consortium is to gather and evaluate neglected indigenous grapevine (Vitis vinifera L.) genotypes in order to prevent their disappearance and help their sustainability through the establishment of true-to-type and virus tested prebasic material “ready to use” for national and international nurseries.

Partners involved:

University of Zagreb Faculty of Agriculture
Department of Plant Breeding, Genetics and Biometrics
25 Svetosimunska
10000 Zagreb, Croatia
Prof. Ivan Pejic

Univ. of Natural Res. and Appl. Life Sci. Vienna
Department of Applied Plant Sciences and Plant Biotechnology, Institute of Horticulture and Viticulture
Peter Jordan Str. 82
1190 Vienna, Austria
Prof. Astrid Forneck

Geisenheim Research Center
Section for Grapevine Breeding & Grafting
von Lade Str. 1
65366 Geisenheim, Germany
Prof. Ernst-Heinrich Ruehl

Univerity of Montenegro, Biotechnical Faculty
Department for viticulture, enology and fruit growing
Mihaila Lalica 1
81000 Podgorica, Montenegro
Dr. Vesna Maras