February 2018 Canadian Grapevine Sector Workshop

On February 20 2018 stakeholders in the Canadian grape and wine industry participated in a workshop with the objective to:

  • Gain an understanding of current initiatives and mandates supporting the grapevine sector
  • Identify industry research needs as the foundation for enhanced collaboration
  • Develop a common understanding of the benefits and best applications of various diagnostic tools (e.g., NGS, Droplet Digital PCR)

This comprehensive report details the workshop’s discussions and presentations, including :

  • Agenda
  • Summary report
  • CGCN presentation
  • CFIA’s Regulatory aspects of clean plants testing
  • AAFC Science & Technology Branch presentation
  • GGO’s Grape and Wine Industry Research Needs to Support a Clean Plant Program
  • CFIA’s Sidney Infrastructure Project

Here’s an executive summary :

The workshop presented by Grape Growers of Ontario (GGO), Canadian Grapevine Certification Network (CGCN) and Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) helped foster communication across stakeholder groups regarding CGCN’s initiative of creating a sustainable propagative supply of clean grapevine material for Canada through the development of protocols.

The roles and level of involvement in the context of a grapevine clean plant network from government, industry, researchers and nurseries as well as the capabilities and limitations of each was highlighted throughout the day. Growers (the end users) were also brought into the discussion, as they have first-hand experience addressing virus concerns in vineyards.

The workshop brought together stakeholders from across the country as we work together to become a leader in a national clean plant network.

The two viruses of particular concern for the industry are (1) Leafroll and, (2) Red Blotch, which results in significant economic losses if left unaddressed. In order to properly address the issue, we first need to inhibit the spread of viruses. Through the Canadian Grape and Wine Science Cluster, CGCN has applied for funding under the AgriScience program led by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada in order to develop a strategy for best management practices for viruses in the vineyards through researchers and collaboration with industry.

In addition to inhibiting spread, growers must remove infected material through cost effective testing. CFIA’s work on NGS combined with lower cost testing methods developed and validated by researchers, we are well positioned to identify viruses at all levels of propagation (G1 to G4). Identification and management of confirmed and potential vectors will play an important role in controlling the spread of pathogens.

Lastly and most importantly, once infected material has been removed from the vineyard, growers need to replant with certified clean material. The second breakout session of the day which focused on research priorities for developing tools to support the importation, propagation and cultivation of clean stock in Canada, helped guide CGCN as it works toward establishing protocols. CGCN is actively working with industry stakeholders including, CFIA, AAFC, nurseries, growers and industry organizations in order to develop robust protocols for each propagation level in order to provide growers with certified plant material.

 

 

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