New developments bring Viña Concha y Toro closer to the vineyard of the future

The Molecular Biology area of the Center for Research and Innovation has implemented a series of vineyard trials in order to collect information applied to the use of beneficial microorganisms as biocontrol and reinforcement agents for the vine breeding.


Within the framework of the Strategic Programme for the Strengthening of Plant Material and its Biological Reinforced Research Line, the Center for Research and Innovation (CRI) He has been working hard on new projects that bring value to the company, including experiments with molecular biological agents to strengthen the grapevine, protect it from diseases and infections and extend the useful life of the vineyards.


Felipe Gainza, R+D+i Leader in Molecular Biology of the CRI, explains: ‘The transversal objective of these trial is to generate applied information on the use of beneficial microorganisms as biocontrol and reinforcement agents for the grapevine, promoting the use of sustainable and effective tools for viticulture.’


What do these tests consist of?


To date, the CRI has conducted four large-scale trials. The first of these was implemented on 19 August this year and consists of a joint trial with the Catholic University of Maule, the University of De Talca and the Myconativa company, in which the centre uses Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Merlot plants, which they were reinforced in 2019 with two trichodermas commercial strains and two commercial strains of Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi (AMF). This test was carried out with the aim of assessing the protection capacity of Trichoderma and AMF in grapevine plants against controlled infections of trunk disease fungi.


Then on 21 August, a second test was carried out, the main objective of which was to assess the effect of AMFs on replanting vineyards. This trial consisted of the replacement of almost 3,000 plants and their subsequent evaluation for at least three seasons, focusing on seeing effects on the growth rate, vigor and plant quality, as well as on the efficiency of AMFs colonization and establishment in productive field conditions.


Moreover, a third trial was carried out in August and September, which will allow the assessment of the ability to confer tolerance for water stress on Trichoderma and AMFs in grapevine plants.


Finally, a fourth test will be implemented during these months at Lourdes vineyard, which will give the CRI the opportunity to assess the capacity of AMFs to revitalise decayed vineyards and improve the establishment of a new plantation.