Press release Julius Kühn Institute number 13 from August 12th, 2022
Vine breeders and geneticists from 23 countries exchanged ideas at the XIII. GBG symposium in the Palatinate.
(Siebeldingen) The Institute for Vine Breeding of the Julius Kühn Institute (JKI), located on the Geilweilerhof in the Palatinate, had the honor of hosting the international symposium on vine breeding and genetics this summer (2022). The "XIII. Symposium for Grapevine Breeding and Genetics" took place from 10.-15. July in the Art Nouveau festival hall in Landau. 180 scientists from 23 countries in Europe and overseas came together to present and discuss current research results. The event takes place every four years at different locations around the world. The next host country after Germany is Croatia in 2026. The series of events was launched almost half a century ago by the vine growers at the Geilweilerhof in Siebeldingen, who have been part of the Julius Kühn Institute since 2008.
"Both the guidelines from politics and society to reduce the use of pesticides in the permanent crop of vines and the consequences of the clearly emerging climate change underline the importance of the research efforts for breeding new grape varieties presented at the GBG symposium," summarizes Prof. Dr. Reinhard Töpfer, head of the specialist institute for vine breeding at the JKI. "In breeding research, we take this as an incentive to further elucidate the genetics behind the vine characteristics and to find methods to make the breeding process more efficient," explains Töpfer further. It would take a lot of staying power, because the current generation of PIWIs is unfortunately only slowly finding its way into German vineyards.
The GBG Symposium was the platform for exchanging new knowledge, methods and techniques, but also for discussing the potential of old varieties or wild species that are preserved in gene banks. Significant, for example, are the international advances in elucidating resistance to powdery mildew, gray mold (botrytis) and black rot, which make a significant contribution to reducing plant protection expenditure. The results of studies on sunburn tolerance in vines are also becoming increasingly important in view of climate change. "The genetic work benefits both organic and integrated viticulture in equal measure and is indispensable for overcoming the challenges posed by climate change and increasing sustainability in viticulture," emphasizes Potter. A change in variety is unavoidable in the coming decades if the cultural landscape of the wine-growing regions with their high tourist value is to be preserved, the participants of the conference agreed.
In addition to the lectures on research results and poster presentations, which will take place from 11.-14. July, the specialist audience was offered a full-day technical excursion to various wineries in the area, to the DLR in Neustadt and of course to the breeding site of the JKI on the Geilweilerhof on July 13th. Here, among other things, the phenotyping robot was shown, which plays an important role in increasing the efficiency of breeding. Another prerequisite for future success in vine breeding is the availability and use of vine genetic resources. They contain important properties such as resistance to disease, pests or heat stress, which breeding research is investigating worldwide and putting to use. At the Geilweilerhof itself, the JKI has one of the world's largest collections of genetic resources of the vine. The partly historical varieties as well as wild vines are preserved in a gene bank as vines in the vineyard. The JKI also coordinates the German gene bank for vines and operates several databases (see the interview with the gene bank expert here: https://www.julius-kuehn.de/zr/interview-fr-dr-erika-maul/)
The supporting program, which traditionally rounds off such a conference, was also designed to introduce the international guests to the wine-growing regions of Germany, including the unique cultural landscape. This was also made possible by some larger and many smaller sponsors. The guests were able to spend an evening at Landeck Castle, take part in the barbecue at the Geilweilerhof with tasting of the JKI-PIWI wines and experience a festive evening with a wine tasting moderated by the German Wine Queen Sina Erdrich in Annweiler. After the symposium, some of the conference guests went on an informational trip to the Moselle.
GBG poster price: The association of sponsors and friends of the Geilweilerhof kindly provided the prize money for the award of the best posters. The independent expert jury chose the young researcher Nele Schneider, who works at the JKI Institute for Vine Breeding in the VitiSoil project, as the winner.
For images to download see:
Prof. Dr. Reinhard Toepfer
Geilweilerhof, 76833 Siebeldingen
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The Julius Kühn Institute (JKI) unites 17 specialized institutes at 9 locations in Germany under one roof. Headquarters is Quedlinburg. Other locations are Braunschweig, Berlin, Kleinmachnow, Dresden, Dossenheim, Münster, Siebeldingen and Groß Lüsewitz. The Federal Research Institute for Cultivated Plants is one of four research institutes of the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL).