Grape Research Coordination Network

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The grape and wine industry is an international global marketplace with a competitive high-value product. The issues facing the grape and wine industry cut across national boundaries and involve problems with berry quality, disease pressures, and climate change. In response to these global issues, the grape community developed the International Grape Genome Program (IGGP) to promote international collaboration and the placement of genomic data into the public domain to rapidly advance grape genomic studies. With the sequencing of the grapevine genome completed, the IGGP steering committee has identified the development of functional genomic platforms, bioinformatics, and the synchronization of funding between different international parties as high priorities. This Grape Research Coordination Network (GRCN) project represents an excellent opportunity to help address the identified issues.

Our objectives are:

1) to coordinate grape functional genomic research among US grape researchers and

2) to articulate and coordinate US research with international initiatives by:

a. Facilitating the development of non-redundant functional genomic resources in grape through scientific exchange and dialog to improve production efficiency and quality of grape products.

b. Establishing institutional collaborations and partnerships among American, French, Italian, South African, Canadian, Spanish, Australian and other international institutes including exchanges of scientists and students between institutes for research and education, and attendance at international and virtual conferences and workshops that are focused on networking activities and grape functional genomics.

The RCN steering committee will organize workshops, conferences and scientific exchanges between US labs and between US and international labs, which will be advertised on the IGGP web site (vitaceae.org), in order to facilitate national and international grape research and communication along with the enhancement of the education of early career scientists. Stipend applications for postdoctoral research associates and graduate students are due at the beginning of September of each year. Details and requirements are described in the application form.

The establishment of collaborations between the US and international institutes and universities will provide complementation of the strengths of each institute for a synergistic stimulation of research, education and progress towards understanding berry development, the influence of the environment on grape quality, and the human-health benefits associated with many grape metabolites. The long-term benefits of this project will be to expand and foster international partnerships with other institutes and universities from other countries in the interest of improved economic development and international relations throughout the world.

This project is funded by the National Science Foundation grant no. DBI 0741876 for 5 years from 2008 to 2013. To get more information about the GRCN, contact Grant Cramer (email).

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