Genetic basis of salt exclusion in grapevine


Photo: D-T. Pham

Soil salinity costs the Australian grape and wine industry ~$60M pa in lost yield.  Salt accumulation in berries also reduces wine quality, with wine from many Australian regions susceptible to exceeding legal limits for sodium and chloride ions leading to wastage.



This project will identify genes from Vitis spp. rootstocks, that confer salt exclusion in the grapes of grafted V. vinifera scions, to accelerate the selection of rootstocks specifically designed for production in Australian conditions.  Genes identified by genotyping-by-sequencing of the progeny of crosses between salt-including and salt-excluding rootstocks, will undergo molecular and physiological characterisation.  Marker-based prediction of salt exclusion will be confirmed in further germplasm and used to generate crosses of new rootstock material to test and commercialise via local nurseries.

PhD position available (ICHDR4)

We seek a highly motivated PhD candidate with a high-level Honours or Masters qualification or equivalent in molecular biology, biotechnology, genetics, or bioinformatics.  The project will be based at the Waite campus of The University of Adelaide.  The candidate will develop skills/techniques in next generation sequencing analysis, bioinformatics, plant genetics, plant transformation, molecular biology and vine propagation.

For further information on the Centre PhD’s, including eligibility, visit the Join Us page. If you are interested in this project, email project leader Professor Matthew Gilliham to express your interest, including a copy of your CV and academic transcript.

Project leader

Matthew Gilliham
University of Adelaide

Other investigators

Associate Professor
Cassandra Collins
University of Adelaide

Industry partners

AGRFThe Australian Wine Research InstituteCSIRO

Latest News

Postgraduate opportunities in grape & wine research

Postgraduate opportunities in grape & wine research

Do you know a high achieving, enthusiastic student looking for a PhD in grape and/or wine research?   Generous postgraduate research opportunities are currently available to join the Australian Research Council (ARC) Training Centre for Innovative Wine Production....

read more
Meet Colleen Szeto – PhD student in the ARC TC-IWP

Meet Colleen Szeto – PhD student in the ARC TC-IWP

Could you tell us a bit about yourself and your academic background? I grew up in Carver, a small town south of Boston, Massachusetts that is famous for its cranberry production. I pursued a B.S. in Psychology (otherwise known as the neuroscience track) at...

read more