Housed at the INRAE Grand Est-Colmar Center, the 1131 Santé de la Vigne et Qualité du Vin (SVQV) joint research unit is under the supervision of the University of Strasbourg and INRAE. It is directed by Éric Duchêne, with Camille Rustenholz and Olivier Lemaire as deputies. It brings together permanent staff from INRAE, the University of Strasbourg and the University of Haute Alsace.

The Unit's project is in line with the general context of reducing the use of pesticides in agriculture and ensuring the sustainability of vine growing, including adaptation to climate change. The unit's two main areas of research are plant-(vector)-pathogen interactions, with a view to reducing pesticide use and the impact of disease, and maintaining vineyard productivity and wine quality, in a context of decline and climate change.

The unit is structured into three teams:

Reducing the use of fungicides through the use of mildew- and powdery mildew-resistant varieties, created by the unit, is a solution validated by the vine & wine industry on a national scale, which now funds its own varietal creation programs. The challenge for the GAV team, in terms of research, is to provide breeding programs with 'elite' genitors combining disease resistance genes and precise agronomic characteristics, as well as high-performance selection methods, i.e. reliable, rapid and inexpensive. The GAV team's work focuses on identifying new sources of resistance (Black-rot resistance, recessive genes), on high-performance phenotyping methods to make genotype-phenotype relationships more reliable, and on developing genomic and phenomenal prediction methods.

Genetic and functional validation approaches are being developed by the GAV and ViVE teams to decipher the mechanisms involved in recessive resistance in grapevines to Court-Noué.

The skills of the GAV and GMV teams enable us to investigate the relationships between genetic inheritance and the composition of secondary metabolites in grapes and wines. The GMV team uses genomics, transcriptomics and metabolomics approaches to identify not only key genes in the biosynthesis of grapevine defense metabolites, particularly in the context of plant-pathogen interaction, but also in the biosynthesis of grape berry aromas.

These vine genetics approaches call on high-performance tools for genomic data management and analysis, vineyard phenotyping (LiDAR, multispectral imaging) and metabolic profiling (UHPLC-MS, GC-MS).

In virology, the unit studies host-virus-vector interactions and the underlying mechanisms in two model pathosystems: viruses-telluric vectors-vines and viruses-airborne vectors-annual plants. The aim is to understand the vection mechanisms of several phytoviruses by invertebrate vectors, in particular the viruses responsible for the nematode-transmitted diseases shortnoué, and the aphid-transmitted viruses responsible for beet yellows. One aspect of the program on annual plants studies the modifications induced by viruses on host plants and the vectors that carry them, which maximize their transmission.

On grapevines, the unit hosts Vitivirobiome, a laboratory associated with the Institut Français de la Vigne et du Vin, for the study of all viruses (virome) present in grapevines using high-throughput sequencing technologies. This tool is used, for example, to characterize the genetic variants of GFLV, the virus responsible for Court-noué disease.

Some GFLV variants induce few or no symptoms in plants, and provide infected plants with protection against more virulent viral variants. This principle of symptom control, akin to vaccination, is known as premunition.

Premunition to control Courtnoué disease is one of the major projects of the next five years, with the aim of establishing proof of concept in the vineyard, studying the underlying mechanisms and establishing selection criteria for attenuated viral variants that are candidates for premunition.

Finally, participatory sciences are at the heart of the research carried out by the "participatory action research and vine health" group. They focus on the influence of viticultural practices on vine health, in particular on defense reactions and silencing, and are based on a network of stakeholders and plots (2023-2028, 30 plots and 20 growers). The study of viticultural practices using natural preparations of little concern (PNPP) on vine defenses and health is being carried out throughout France with 15 project-groups representing 200 to 300 winegrowers.

In November 2023, UMR SVQV will be staffed by :

  • 16 researchers, professors and teacher-researchers (8 HDR)
  • 18 engineers (2 HDR)
  • 19 assistant engineers, technicians and technical assistants
  • 11 non-permanent staff (fixed-term contracts, apprentices)
  • 7 PhD students and 1 post-doc
  • 2 non-INRAE engineers (IFV and Multifolia)

Unit organization chart

Unit fact sheet

Modification date: 06 June 2024 | Publication date: 11 September 2013 | By: INRAE Grand Est - Colmar