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Viticulture and winemaking is a major socioeconomic sector in Europe. The most relevant European winemaking regions are distinguishable by their environmental characteristics, which are highly influenced by climate factors. Grape crop yield and quality are expected to be significantly affected by future climate changes, and water use efficiency is a key trait for adaptation to this changing environment. Therefore, understanding the genetic determinism of crop yield, grape quality traits and adaptation potential is of paramount importance both for practical viticulture and for breeding new varieties to face future climate change challenges. The main aim of this project is to boost knowledge on the genetic determinism of these complex traits, through the integration of advanced phenotyping and genotyping technologies applied to an original design of connected segregating populations, never applied before to grapevine research. The project includes the validation of novel high-throughput technologies, the construction of integrated genetic maps, the identification of genetic loci associated to the evaluated traits, and the initial validation of underlying candidate genes. The exploitation of results will increase the competitiveness of European viticulture via more efficient grape breeding programs, and they will foster further studies on fundamental and applied genetics in grapevine
My recent research experience focuses on the analysis of the genetic and molecular mechanisms responsible for relevant traits in grapevine, more particularly those with an impact in crop yield and grape, must and wine quality. During my PhD, developed at the Instituto de Ciencias de la Vid y del Vino (CSIC, UR, CAR) and defended in 2016 (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid), I analysed the genetic basis of grapevine bunch traits through the characterization of the natural variation of a group of grapevine clones and a collection of cultivars at a phenotypic, genetic and genomic level. To this aim, I applied a multidisciplinary approach that included the use of innovative image-based technologies for the high-throughput phenotyping of different bunch traits, and novel genomic and genetic approaches to identify genes and gene polymorphisms potentially involved in the traits of interest. After finishing my thesis, I was offered a position as a University Assistant in the Crop Science Department (Division of Viticulture and Pomology) of the Universität für Bodenkultur Wien (BOKU, Vienna), where I was involved in diverse research projects aimed to evaluate the grapevine diversity of traditional Austrian wine grape cultivars and their response to biotic stresses, as well as in the teaching of diverse Bachelor and Master’s courses. I am currently an AgreenSKills+ fellow and my project is focused on the genetics basis of the adaptation of diverse traits related to grape quality, yield and adaptation potential.
Tello, J., Montemayor, M.I., Forneck, A. and Ibáñez, J., 2018. A new image-based tool for the high throughput phenotyping of pollen viability: evaluation of inter- and intracultivar diversity in grapevine. Plant Methods 14:3. Doi: 10.1186/s13007-017-0267-2.
Tello, J. and Ibáñez, J., 2018. What do we know about grapevine bunch compactness? A state-of-the-art review. Australian Journal of Grape and Wine Research 24, 6-23.
Grimplet, J. Tello, J., Laguna, N., and Ibáñez, J., 2017. Differences in flower transcriptome between grapevine clones are related to their cluster compactness, fruitfulness and berry size. Frontiers in Plant Science 8:632. Doi: 10.3389/fpls.2017.00632.
Tello, J., Torres-Pérez, R., Grimplet, J. and Ibáñez, J., 2016. Association analysis of grapevine bunch traits using a comprehensive approach. Theoretical and Applied Genetics 129, 227-242.
Tello, J., Aguirrezábal, R., Hernáiz, S., Larreina, B., Montemayor, M.I., Vaquero, E. and Ibáñez, J., 2015. Multicultivar and multivariate study of the natural variation for grapevine bunch compactness. Australian Journal of Grape and Wine Research 21(2), 277-289.