As the country prepares for the summer months, Pune’s Department of Science and Technology (DST) institute brings news of grapes with increased juice production capacity.
Scientists from Agharkar Research Institute (ARI), an autonomous institute of the DST, have developed a hybrid variety of grapes which is resistant to fungal diseases, high yielding and has excellent juice quality. It is also suitable for preparation of juice, raisin, jam and red wine and farmers are enthusiastically adopting the variety.
The hybrid variety ARI-516 has been developed by interbreeding of two species from the same genus -- Catawba variety of Vitis labrusca and Beauty seedless variety of Vitis vinifera.The work which has been published in the in Proceedings of the International Symposium on Grape Production and Processing is a result of a collaboration between Maharashtra Association for the Cultivation of Science (MACS) and ARCI and can benefit farmers, the processing industry and consumers.
Dr Sujata Tetali, Scientist, Genetics & Plant Breeding Group from MACS-ARI, has developed this inter-specific variety by working on necessary properties. The fungal resistance of ARI-516 has been derived from Catawba, which is an American grape variety. It has superior quality fruits and higher yield per unit area. An early ripening hybrid, it matures in 110 - 120 days after pruning. The variety has elongated bunches and bears pleasant musky flavoured berries and performs well in Maharashtra, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Punjab and West Bengal.
MACS-ARI is involved in The Indian Council of Agricultural Research, ICAR's grape improvement programme through All India Coordinated Research Project on Fruits. MACS-ARI has developed many inter-specific and intra-specific grape hybrids under the hybridization programme. The hybrids are evaluated for their disease resistance, fruit quality, and whether they are seedless or not.
ARI-516 grape variety has been recently identified for release by the Varietal Identification Committee of ICAR-All India Co-Ordinated Research Project on Fruit, for cultivation in Maharashtra, Punjab, Telangana and Tamil Nadu.