1. The Group of Plant Genetics and Immunology was established in 2012. The research purpose of the Group of
Plant Genetics and Immunology is forwarded on i) understanding of genetic and molecular basis of the variation in quantitative and
qualitative traits of plants and ii) on the analysis of the genetic bases of abiotic and biotic stresses by studying structure,
expression and variability of genes. During last years one of the main concerns was the comprehensive characterization of Armenian
grapevine genetic diversity, based on its ampelographic, eno-carpological, genetic characteristics and the assessment of trueness
to type. The knowledge of genetic diversity and relationships among grapevine cultivars is important to recognize gene pools,
identify differences in germplasm collections and develop effective conservation and management strategies.
2. One of the current research tasks of the Group of Plant Genetics and Immunology is multidisciplinary characterization of Armenian grape germplasm for breeding potential discovery, particularly i) microsatellite fingerprinting of grapevine cultivars and wild species by polymorphic microsatellite (SSR) markers ii) SSR markers analysis linked to downy and powdery mildew resistance loci iii) phenotypic analysis of downy and powdery mildew by artificially inoculated leaf discs and by detached leaf assays.
3. Another research task of the Group of Plant Genetics and Immunology is application of RT-qPCR and Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) as diagnostic tools for the virus detection in local Armenian grapevine varieties and hybrids. The application of knowledge and technologies in grapevine quarantine and certification programs can improve the efficiency of these programs, aimed to control viral diseases in Armenia. It is believed that this activity will permit to obtain new data for international grape virology dataset and will catalyze molecular-biological approach in Armenian agro-biology, promoting collaboration between Armenian and foreign scientific/educational institutions.
4. The members of the Group of Plant Genetics and Immunology have a large experience on investigation of plant genetics and genomics. The team realized cooperative projects with several international institutions, as University of Milan, Italy, Institute for Grapevine Breeding Geilweilerhof, Germany, Research Centre of Vine- and Wine-Related Science, Logrono, Spain, Institute for Sustainable Plant Protection, CNR, Bari, Italy. The realized and on-going project‘s results will be used as a scientific basis for the multidisciplinary characterization of Armenian grape germplasm according to the international standards, which will have strategic importance and may contribute to the successful long-term preservation of the Vitis genetic resources in Armenia and inspire discovery of breeding potential.