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Virus resistant vines

>> Friday, September 04, 2009

Vines can be attacked by many different diseases and other evils, e.g. the wine louse, mildew, rot, and many other things. One dreaded disease is “fanleaf degeneration” (or grapevine fanleaf virus) that is caused by, yes, a virus. There are chemical treatments available to fight the virus but they are not always effective. Researchers in Aachen have developed a vine with a “built in” defence against the virus, up to 100% effective. With genetic engineering they have introduced anti-bodies from a soil bacterium into the vine so that it produces substances that protect it from the virus. A remaining obstacle is, of course, that genetically modified grapes are not permitted in Europe.


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