Exploring the genomic diversity of wine grapes
Prof. Plant biologist Dr. Dario Cantý was born and raised in Milan, Italy, where he received his undergraduate training and his Master degree in Agricultural Sciences in Fall 2004. He then joined the Plant Biology Graduate Group at UC Davis and obtained his PhD in Fall 2009. During his PhD research under the supervision of Drs. Ann Powell and John Labavitch, Dr. Cantý investigated the molecular determinants of ripe fruit susceptibility to the fungal pathogen, Botrytis cinerea. After graduating from UCD, Dr. Cantý conducted research in the laboratory of Dr. Jorge Dubcovsky where he pioneered the application of next generation sequencing technologies to the study of plant traits and plant pathogens. Since Fall 2012 in the V&E Department Dr. Cantý's research integrates principles of systems biology and quantitative genetics and uses genomics and bioinformatics to dissect the genetic bases of economically important grape traits, including responses to biotic and abiotic stresses and flavor. Research topics range from (i) grapevine resistance to pathogens, (ii) the evolution of pathogenicity in plant pathogens, (iii) berry ripening and its association with pathogens and microbial communities, (iv) domestication and evolution of grapes, (vi) genetics of grape and wine flavor and aroma.
Combined improvements in sequencing technologies and assembly algorithms have led to staggering improvements in the quality of grape genome assemblies. In recent years, there has been an exponential increase in the number of high-quality wine grape genome references, which have provided the unprecedented opportunity to study the genetic differences between grape cultivars and clones at the highest resolution. This newly acquired richness of genomic information has been instrumental to begin understanding the genetic basis of viticulture and enological traits. Varietal specific genomes are crucial to understanding typicity, varietal traits and the effects of the environment and cultural practices. We have developed www.grapegenomics.com, a web portal to rapidly and broadly share genomic data and tools. By facilitating the timely access to these resources, we aim to foster multidisciplinary collaborations and progress in grape research.
Tuesday, 5th of July 2022