Post-Grant Reports


Student-Faculty Collaborative Research Grant Report

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Agronomy and Crop Sciences | Fruit Science | Plant Biology | Plant Sciences | 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, Oregon. 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. Interestingly, results show significant variation within and between vineyards, but not between farming practices. This suggests that location, probably driven by soil type, plays a larger role in determining grape microbiome than anything done by the viticulturist. Future work will expand this sampling to ten vineyards and include examinations of yeast communities on grapes.


This research was conducted as part of a Linfield College Student-Faculty Collaborative Research Grant in 2017, funded by the Office of Academic Affairs.

The student collaborator was Shea Gischer.

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