slovenia_vineyards
Photo credit: www.slovenia.info

Slovenia’s capital Ljubljana will between the 3rd and 5th of March be hosting COST Integrape 2020. The second annual meeting of COST Action CA17111 will focus on Multi-omics data integration for genotype-phenotype association. The event is supported and co-organised by COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology), the National Institute of Biology, and the Cankarjev dom – CD Cultural and Congress Centre Ljubljana which works as the meeting secretariat and registration office for the event.

As Slovenia is known as a wine-country, it is not surprising that the international event is taking place in its capital. COST ACTION CA17111 “DATA INTEGRATION TO MAXIMISE THE POWER OF OMICS FOR GRAPEVINE IMPROVEMENT” has officially started in September of 2018. It is bringing together all stakeholders in the grapevine research community (academic, industry, policymakers and consumers) in an open, international, and representative network to develop minimal data standards and good practices in order to integrate data repositories and improve interoperability between datasets. The ultimate objective is to harness and exploit all available data to achieve better management practices and more cost-effective breeding for improved genotypes.

Grapevine is grown worldwide to produce fresh berries, processed fruits and wine. The major challenge is to control berry composition and maintain yields while limiting the use of pesticides, water and other inputs, thus adapting the industry to climate change while achieving environmental and economic sustainability. Grapevine research focuses on interactions between the genotype, phenotype and environment, and information must be integrated from heterogeneous datasets including ampelography, environmental biology, genetics, genomics, epigenomics, transcriptomics, proteomics and metabolomics.

The data are currently dispersed and difficult to access, hindering meta-analysis (the re-use of grapevine data beyond the original experiments). No institution working in the field of grapevine research has yet taken on the mission to improve data integration and interoperability at the global level, although the grapevine research community is continuously producing large datasets. The concepts described will support stakeholders by developing innovative strategies to integrate grapevine data from existing resources and new experiments in a cost-effective manner, as well as making interoperable grapevine datasets and tools available in a secure and standardised format.

The 2020 conference that will take place in Ljubljana will, thus, represent a groundbreaking conference providing new data and new findings for better grape production aligned with the increasingly problematic reality of climate change. Cankarjev dom – CD Cultural and Congress Centre will with its part in the conference provide an organisational support for the meeting.