Genomics of Fruit Trees and Grapevine

PhD Theses



The Genomics of fruit trees and grapevine group began its activities in 2002 supporting three main lines of action in plant breeding of woody species (species of the family Rosaceae and grapevine): i) selection of fruit varieties and rootstocks adapted to the conditions of the Mediterranean area; ii) development of multidisciplinary techniques for its application in plant breeding; and iii) conservation of genetic resources in fruit tree species and grapevine.

Currently, the group's research focuses on genomics and the use of multidisciplinary techniques for the identification of candidate genes and the development of markers for their use in plant breeding. Part of our actions is dedicated to the conservation and molecular characterization of genetic resources in fruit species (peach, Prunus spp. And apple) along with the molecular standardization of the grapevine accessions included in the Aragon Germplasm Bank.

The activities carried out in the last years focuses on the following objectives and strengthen the research lines and services that are described and offered on the EEAD website. In particular, the laboratory of Genomics, Genetics and Breeding of Fruit Trees and grapevine of the EEAD has been carrying out since 2002 genotyping studies in the genus Prunus, Malus and Vitis and, since 2004, we have been studying in functional genomics in woody species. The group has developed specific protocols and has built extensive databases to provide services using any plant material collected at any time of the year (wood, roots, leaves, fruits, etc.) for the varietal identification, paternity testing or genomics functional analysis.

Main objective

Identification of candidate genes for application in maker assisted breeding in fruit tree species and grapevine.

Specific objectives

  1. Development of physiological, biochemical, and molecular techniques as tools for the evaluation and selection of rootstocks and fruit varieties (species of the genera Prunus, Malus, and Vitis) tolerant to stress and with good fruit quality.
  2. Identification of genes and/or genomic regions responsible for the tolerance to abiotic stress in Prunus and Vitis rootstocks, and associated with high fruit quality traits and tolerance to Monilinia laxa in peach. Genetic analysis and Genome Wide Association in peach.


- Breeding and selection of rootstocks for stone fruit (peach, plum, cherry, almond, etc.) adapted to the Mediterranean conditions (chlorosis, drought and stresses associated with climate change), and peach cultivars with high peach quality and good performance in postharvest (tolerant to chilling injury and Monilinia spp.).

-Prospection, conservation and phenotypic and genetic characterization of genetic resources of fruit species from the Rosaceae family (peach, Prunus spp. and apples) and grapevine. To understand the molecular basis of phenotypic variation in agronomical traits that allows adaptation to the new conditions of the Mediterranean area.

-Development of multidisciplinary techniques (omics) in collaboration with other groups (phenomics, proteomics, genomics and metabolomics), and high-throughput (SNPs genotyping), massive RNA sequencing, bioinformatics analysis) for application in maker assisted breeding.

-Genetic analysis (QTLs) of the tolerance to stress in Prunus and Vitis rootstocks and in peach. Genome wide association (GWAs), Differential transcriptomic analysis (RT-PCR. RNA-Seq), and Functional genomics in woody species.