The International Grape Genome Program ( IGGP , launched in 2001) aims at coordinating the international efforts for the development of genomic resources for the Vitis genus. During the last four years, more than 380 000 complete or partial sequences of expressed genes in grapevine (Expressed Sequence Tags or EST) have been submitted to public databases and dense genetic and physical maps of the grapevine genome have been developed. The IGGP, based on the commitment of volunteer scientists, has thus allowed the whole community to go from a null situation in terms of available genomic resources in 2001 to the creation, in July 2005, of a French-Italian public consortium (INRA, Genoscope , University of Milan, University of Udine/ Instituto di Genomica Applicata and University of Padua) aiming at the sequencing of the whole grapevine genome.
In august 2007, the French-Italian sequencing project lead to the release of the first high quality draft of the Vitis vinifera genome sequence :
"The French-Italian Public Consortium for Grapevine Genome Characterization, “The grapevine genome sequence suggests ancestral hexaploidization in major angiosperm phyla”, Nature (2007, PMID: 17721507).
This sequencing of the 8.4 genome equivalents is being performed on the quasi-homozygous genotype PN40024 created by INRA in Colmar .
The Franco-Italian project for sequencing the grape genome will lead to a final coverage of 12 genome equivalents.
Since 1999, the french scientific community has greatly contributed to the life of the IGGP and to the development of such resources through financial supports of Génoplante, of the french National Agency for Research ( ANR ) and of INRA . Some of the projects are also involving European partners, supported by their own country.
The French community aims now at using these resources to address the problems of viticulture. For this purpose, national priorities are discussed with representatives of the producers associations under the aegis of the national technical institute for wine and viticulture, ENTAV/IFV with the aim to co-construct national projects.