Characterisation and evaluation of biodiversity, proof of trueness-to-type and pedigree - all this is serving the protection of grapevine cultivar diversity. The Information Centre Vine and Wine maintains four databases for this purpose. A scientific journal on vine and wine is published online and in print. One of the world’s largest special libraries on viticulture as well as extensive herbarium collections of grapevine species, cultivars and accessions and other references are affiliated.
Literature database Vitis-VEA (http://www.vitis-vea.de)
The international literature database comprises scientific articles, monographs and conference proceedings from 1969 onwards in the fields of viticulture, biology of the grapevine, grapevine breeding, plant protection and oenology. Articles from applied research journals in German language have been entered since 1994.
Vitis – Journal of Grapevine Research (https://ojs.openagrar.de/index.php/VITIS)
The journal of the JKI in English with original scientific papers from around the world is published since 1957 in print and online since 2015.
Vitis International Variety Catalogue (VIVC) (http://www.vivc.de)
The database has been established for documentation of the still existing grapevine diversity. Today, VIVC comprises around 23,500 grapevine cultivars, species and breeding lines. The database was established in 1984 and has been online since 1996 with passport data, descriptive data, pictures and bibliography. On average more than 120 individual visitors per day are using the catalogue.
European Vitis Database (http://www.eu-vitis.de)
The European Vitis Database is a virtual germplasm resource. At present, inventories of 58 grapevine collections from 28 European countries are entered. Curators of the collections can independently update database contents, making the database an efficient and up-to-date resource. Data import and export as well as corrections and replacement of pictures is made online.
German Grape Genebank (Deutsche Genbank Reben) (http://www.deutsche-genbank-reben.jki.bund.de/)
The inventories of seven German grapevine collections are registered in the German Grape Genebank (DGR), making it an important tool for safeguarding grapevine genetic resources in Germany. The JKI is in charge of the genebank coordination.
Maintenance of genetic resources
The grapevine collection of the Institute for Grapevine Breeding Geilweilerhof holds more than 3,000 accessions of cultivars and wild species as well as important breeding lines. Beyond many others old and neglected cultivars from Germany, Switzerland and Austria and rare germplasm from Eastern Europe can be found. More than half of the cultivars carry resistance genes against mildews as most important pests of the grapevine.
Cultivar identification and pedigree analysis
Validation of trueness-to-type in the collection is an ongoing process. Meanwhile genetic fingerprints of 1,136 V. vinifera cultivars have been produced and compared with international data. For 10 % of the investigated accessions cases of synonymy, homonymy or false identification were detected. These figures confirm observations made in other collections. Morphology of shoots, leaves and clusters are compared with figures from literature to further confirm the identity of the cultivars by ampelography. In the framework of the BÖLN-project ‘Development of knowledge transfer and information systems for sustainable use of grapevine genetic resources’ the accessions’ trueness-to-type is examined for seven German grapevine collections. The aim is to identify and duplicate rare accessions with historical importance and to safeguard them in at least two collections.