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2021 Speakers

Manuel Tornel Martinez

Manuel Tornel Martinez, Speaker at Plant Biology Conferences
Instituto Murciano de Investigación y Desarrollo Agrario y Alimentario, Spain
Title : New trends in table grapes breeding


About thirty years ago, table grape growers grew traditional grapes with seeds, soft texture and low productivity. Currently, the main characteristics are seedless grapes, crunchy texture, good color and extraordinary flavor, available throughout the year in supermarkets. By satisfying the needs of the producers, the vineyards are more productive and need less cultivation work Fungal resistance has been the main topic among grape breeders. Downy and powdery mildews are the two fungal pathogens breeding addressed most intensively during past decades. With this, less phytosanitary treatment will be needed, they will have less waste and less environmental impact. The development of these new varieties is through crosses but we use in vitro culture to obtain seedlings and the use of molecular markers for assisted selection, these being the main biotechnological tools
used. Breeding new varieties is a worldwide achievement.


Agronomist engineer with a PhD in agricultural research that leads the table grape team at IMIDA, the public institute for agricultural research. Together with ITUM, we have developed a genetic breeding program to obtain new varieties of seedless table grapes, using biotechnological techniques such as in vitro culture and molecular markers to obtain seedlings. Breeder of 20 new varieties already being grown in Spain; the first commercial farms are being stablished in Chile, Peru, Brazil, Mexico, Namibia and Australia, with South Africa, India and USA to follow in the next few years. Two of the varieties have genes for resistance to powdery mildew, focusing on organic farming.

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