Post-Grant Reports


Student-Faculty Collaborative Research Grant Report

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Environmental Microbiology and Microbial Ecology | Fruit Science | Viticulture and Oenology


Numerous abiotic environmental factors influence the maturation of grapes and subsequently the wine made from them. It has recently been hypothesized that, in addition to these factors, the microbiome, the associated microbial community of the wine grapes, may also have a significant effect on the maturation of grapes and contributions to wine that are not fully understood. To determine if farming practices influence the composition of the microbiome, samples were taken across six vineyards in Yamhill County. Three of these vineyards are certified biodynamic and three practice sustainable but not biodynamic farming techniques. Full clusters of grapes were sampled from the vineyard using sterile technique and DNA was extracted from four grapes of each cluster. DNA was sequenced via high throughput sequencing with a primer set for the 16S gene. Data analysis is still ongoing, but preliminary results show significant differences in microbiome composition between biodynamic and sustainable vineyards. If confirmed, future work will focus on how these differences impact the resulting wines that are produced from these grapes.


This research was conducted as part of a Linfield College Student-Faculty Collaborative Research Grant in 2016, funded by the Office of Academic Affairs.

The student collaborator was Shea Gischer.

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