Sustainable production of table grapes year-round with novel microvine cultivars
To meet global demand, horticulture productivity improvements will need reduced inputs and increased production per hectare. Urban agriculture and intensive protected cropping are two new approaches that show promise, but adapting existing fruit tree crops to these systems has proven difficult.
Advanced genetic breeding approaches (non-GM) can produce new fruit varieties that meet consumer demands and appetites for fresh, high quality, uniquely flavoured healthy local fruit.
'Microvine' is a new versatile grapevine containing a natural genetic mutation that leads to altered growth and development with the ability to continuously flower and fruit under glasshouse or otherwise controlled conditions. Depending on cultural practices, microvines can be grown as dwarf fruiting vines (i.e. <1 m) or trained to produce a continuously fruiting cane.
It has been successfully crossed with table grape varieties to produce seedless grapes with a range of flavours and textures. It can also be grown with much lower chemical inputs than traditional table grapes, due to the introduction of resistance to two major grapevine pathogens: powdery mildew and downy mildew.
Microvines can be grown in soil or hydroponic systems and due to their dwarf stature, they are also ideal for the retail nursery industry as an indoor potted plant or an outdoor plant for the home garden.
Microvine offers paradigm-shifting potential to grow perennial fruit trees in commercially intensive protected cropping and urban agricultural facilities, consumer home gardens, and high-density living spaces. It allows grapes to be grown year-round, with reduced chemical inputs, and supply local markets rather than relying on imported grapes for more than half of the year. A shift to local, environmentally sustainable production and consumption benefits consumers and advances that adoption of protected cropping and urban agriculture.
Additionally, the ability to retain a small plant stature when grown as a potted vine allows for a retail option into the nursery market as potted plant for fresh fruit in the home or backyard garden.
Intellectual Property Rights, including Plant Breeders Rights, will be managed by CSIRO in collaboration with partners, with a preference for partners to drive marketing and branding.
Our team combines globally recognised expertise in grape breeding and other horticultural crops, supported by extensive experience in global agribusiness.