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Foundation Plant Services News

Exciting Greenhouse Progress!
Construction of the phase 1 greenhouse to hold FPS's core grapevine collection has been completed, and plants have been moved in! more...

Deborah Golino remembered for guiding evolution of Foundation Plant Services and advocating for the use of clean plants
From director Maher Al Rwahnih
Deborah Golino, former director of Foundation Plant Services (FPS) in UC Davis’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, passed away on December 23, 2023. Deborah worked as director of FPS from 1994 until retirement in 2021. She was a kind and supportive administrator, who will be deeply missed by all those who knew her. more...

UC Davis Announces Release of 5 Strawberry Varieties
The Strawberry Breeding Program at the University of California, Davis released five new cultivars. California nurseries with agreements through the Office of Research Strawberry Licensing Program will be able to purchase limited quantities of the new cultivars this spring through the FPS Strawberry Program. more...

Grape User Fee, Material, and Service Fee Rate Increase
To ensure that Foundation Plant Services remains financially stable, can continue rigorous disease testing, and make necessary FPS facility improvements, FPS has increased prices for plant materials, introduction services, and grape user fees. Click to read the full story. more...

Updates on 2022 GRBV Classic Foundation Vineyard testing
Foundation Plant Services (FPS) has been extensively testing the Classic Foundation Vineyard since 2017 when grapevine red blotch virus (GRBV) was first discovered in both the Russell Ranch and Classic vineyards. GRBV infection rates have remained extremely low in the Classic Foundation Vineyard, ranging from 0% to 0.02%. None of the 4660 vines were infected in 2022. more...

FPS Expands UCB #1 Pistachio Seed Program to Meet Demand
Foundation Plant Services remains the source for UCB #1 Pistachio seeds- proud to announce expansion of UCB #1 program. 45 new seed-bearing trees brought on-line to serve California pistachio growers. more...

UC Davis to Build New, $5.25M Greenhouse to Protect U.S. Grapevine Collection
Emily C. Dooley
A new greenhouse is being built at Foundation Plant Services (FPS) on the University of California, Davis, campus to safeguard an important grapevine collection from red blotch disease and other pathogens. The 14,400-square-foot greenhouse will have a vestibuled entry, be insect-proof and provide another level of disease protection. It is being spearheaded by FPS which provides the U.S. grape industry with high-quality, virus-tested grapevine plant material. more...

FPS Receives Approval for HTS- and PCR-Based Diagnostic Protocols for Quarantine Release and Certification of Grapevine, Prunus and Roses
USDA-APHIS-PPQ and CDFA have approved the use of FPS' revised diagnostic testing protocol that replaces biological indexing with a combination of HTS and PCR testing for release of plant material. more...

FPS Announces New Director, Maher Al Rwahnih
FPS is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Maher Al Rwahnih as the next FPS Director. Maher’s extensive work with clean stock programs and viral diseases of woody plants along with his development of advanced diagnostic tools make him uniquely suited to advance the mission of FPS. more...

Deborah Golino, FPS Director, to Retire in July 2021
After 27 years of service, Foundation Plant Services’ Director and Cooperative Extension Specialist, Dr. Deborah Golino will retire on July 1, 2021. We thank Deborah for her many years of dedication to the crop industries that she has helped advance through her research, outreach, and service. more...

NCPN Launches New Website
The National Clean Plant Network Education & Outreach Committee has created an all-new NCPN website that went live in June. Each crop has their own page, and simple, logical navigation takes you to in-depth information on clean plant resources. Check it out at

UC Davis Announces Release of Two New Strawberry Varieties
The Strawberry Breeding Program at the University of California, Davis released two new "extreme day neutral” cultivars – UCD Finn and UCD Mojo. California nurseries with agreements through the Office of Research Strawberry Licensing Program will be able to purchase limited quantities of Finn and Mojo this spring through the FPS Strawberry Program. more...

2020: Red Blotch Testing, Research, and Plans for the Future
Foundation Plant Services (FPS) has been testing grapevines in its foundation vineyards for grapevine red blotch virus (GRBV) since 2013. Red blotch infection rates have remained extremely low in the Classic Foundation Vineyard, ranging from 0% to 0.21% since 2013. None of the 4,270 vines were infected in 2020. Russell Ranch Vineyard (RRV) remained unaffected until 2017 when five of 4,132 vines, only 0.1%, were infected with GRBV. Since then, despite significant efforts to prevent the occurrence of the disease, the infection rate in the vineyard has increased to 0.5% (24 of 4,406) in 2018, 7.1% (339 of 4,761) in 2019, and 18% (788 of 4,367) in 2020. more...

Microshoot Tip Therapy Featured in News Article
Western Farm Press
Foundation Plant Services' Sue Sim explains the process and benefits of using microshoot tip therapy for virus elimination in a new Western Farm Press article. more...

Winegrapes of UC Davis Featured in Farm Press Article
Winegrapes of UC Davis, written by Foundation Plant Services staff historian, Nancy Sweet, is available as an online book. The book has been a work in progress for over a decade and currently consists of ten chapters describing the origin of the grape selections in the foundation vineyard at FPS. more...

FPS Director Inducted into NGRA's Science Advisory Council
Deborah Golino has served on the National Grape Research Alliance (NGRA) Board of Directors since its inception in 2004. As a top grape research and extension administrator, she helped shape NGRA’s research priorities and interface with academic institutions. Deborah will serve as a technical advisor and grape research advocate as a founding member of the Science Advisory Council. Congratulations to Deborah on her new role with NGRA!

FPS Releases Its First Prunus Quarantine Material with New Improved Protocol
Kristen Farrar, Foundation Plant Services
Recent advances in technology and updates to testing requirements have led to the release of 20 Prunus selections on an accelerated timeline. more...

Pierce's Disease Resistant Grapevine Cultivars Released
Kristen Farrar, Foundation Plant Services
Foundation Plant Services is pleased to announce the release of five new Pierce’s disease (PD) resistant grapevine cultivars developed in Dr. Andy Walker’s grape breeding program. more...

Update on Red Blotch in Foundation Vineyards
Kristen Farrar, Foundation Plant Services
Foundation Plant Services (FPS) has been testing grapevines in its foundation vineyards for grapevine red blotch virus (GRBV) since 2013. Red blotch infection rate remains extremely low in the Classic Foundation Vineyard. Infection rates ranged from 0% to 0.21% from 2013 to 2019, with only one of 4,075 vines infected in 2019. Russell Ranch Vineyard (RRV) remained unaffected until 2017 when five of 4,132 vines, only 0.1%, were infected.... more...

Sudden Vine Collapse Research Presented in Lodi
Ted Rieger,
Since 2011, growers in the Lodi AVA have observed vines on Freedom rootstock suddenly dying without an identifiable cause. Dr. Maher Al Rwahnih, Laboratory and Research Director at Foundation Plant Services, presented research results on this sudden vine collapse at the Lodi Winegrape Commission meeting held on October 1. more...

Puckett to Leave FPS, Join Industry
Josh Puckett, an incredibly energetic and effective employee has announced he is departing Foundation Plant Services for a new opportunity with a respected industry partner. Josh’s daily presence will be sorely missed at FPS, but his influence in improving and modernizing the operations and processes will be felt far into the future. more...

UC Davis Releases 5 New Strawberry Varieties
Amy Quinton, UC Davis News and Media Relations, 530-752-9843, cell 530-601-8077, [email protected]
The Public Strawberry Breeding Program at the University of California, Davis, has released five new varieties that will help farmers manage diseases, control costs and produce plenty of large, robust berries using less water, fertilizer and pesticides. Two of the new varieties could increase yields by almost 30 percent.

Virus surveys of commercial vineyards show value of planting certified vines
Article from California Agriculture journal.
Grapevines have the highest number of viruses and virus-like diseases ever discovered in a single crop, and they may cost California wine grape growers as much as $91,661 per acre over the life of a vineyard by affecting yield, color, sugar and other qualitative parameters.

Additional Testing Finds No Grapevine Leafroll-associated Virus-3 or Grapevine Red Blotch Virus
Kristen Farrar, Communication Specialist
Since the discovery of grapevine red blotch disease, caused by grapevine red blotch virus (GRBV), in Foundation Vineyards during 2017-2018 annual disease testing, Foundation Plant Services (FPS) implemented a “Test-to-Order” policy for 2018-2019 custom grapevine orders. Selections from all 139 orders, regardless of prior test results, were individually tested prior to distribution. more...

Updates on 2018 Red Blotch and Leafroll Testing
Kristen Farrar, Communication Specialist
In 2017, Foundation Plant Services detected grapevine red blotch disease, caused by grapevine red blotch virus, in the Russell Ranch Vineyard and Classic Foundation Vineyard. more...

Rose Rosette Disease in California
Kristen Farrar, FPS Communications Specialist
Spread of rose rosette disease (RRD), caused by rose rosette virus (RRV), is causing major damage to the nation's rose industry. Recently, RRV was detected from two rose plants at a commercial nursery in Wasco as well as three garden roses planted in two neighboring homes, in Bakersfield, California. more...

FPS Annual Meeting - December 4, 2018
Please click here to register for the meeting - Tuesday, December 4th 2018

Grape Meeting 10:00 am-12:00 pm Fruit and nut tree Meeting 1:00 pm-3:00 pm

Peter Christensen Conference Room, Trinchero Family Estates Building 501 Hopkins Road, Davis, CA 95616

Grapes Of the United States Book Available
Nancy Sweet
Today Foundation Plant Services, UC Davis, released four chapters of a book entitled Grapes of the United States written by FPS staff historian Nancy Sweet. more...

Grape Meristem Video
Microshoot tip culture is one of the most commonly used methods to produce clean planting stocks which contributes directly to improving the quality of the planting material, increasing the profitability of vineyards, and sustaining the development of the grape and wine industry. more...

Two new assays address the challenge of reliably detecting the genetically diverse variants of Grapevine leafroll-associated virus 3
Foundation Plant Services
University of California-Davis
GLRaV-3 can be controlled effectively if it is accurately identified and virus-tested clean stock is made available to growers. Until now, accurate identification of GLRaV-3 has been difficult due to the exceptional number of highly diverse variants. FPS has constructed a single RT-qPCR assay and an ELISA kit which both detect all GLRaV-3 variants characterized to date. more...

Russell Ranch 2017 Virus Test Status
Deborah Golino, Director: Foundation Plant Services
FPS carefully monitors the vineyard blocks and performs testing to ensure that any occurrence of disease is immediately detected and contained.
On December 20, 2017, FPS announced that Grapevine Red Blotch Disease, caused by Grapevine red blotch virus (GRBV), has been found in 5 of 4,132 vines (0.12%) the Russell Ranch Vineyard (RRV). more...

FPS Releases New Grape Selections in 2016
Nancy Sweet at Foundation Plant Services
Each year many new grape varieties and clones become available to the public after completion of testing at Foundation Plant Services. Wine grape clones from vineyards in Europe and California were added to the FPS foundation grapevine collection in 2016. Highlights of those selections were presented at the FPS Annual Meeting in Davis on December 1. Some of the more interesting grape varieties currently in the pipeline at FPS were also previewed. more...

Golino Award, Endowed Chair Position Highlight Annual Grape Meeting
Ted Rieger at Wines & Vines
During the annual meeting, FPS director Dr. Deborah Golino, was presented an award from the California Association of Nurseries and Garden Centers, from its past-president David Cox, as the recipient of the organization’s annual Research Award for 2016. Cox said the award was presented to Golino, “For your contribution towards an improved nursery industry.” Golino has been director of FPS since 1994, and serves as a UC Cooperative Extension Specialist and a faculty member of the UCD Department of Plant Pathology. In addition to its role as the repository for clean grapevine material, and a source of virus-tested, professionally identified grapevines, FPS plays a similar role for the nursery industry for clean plant material for fruit and nut trees, strawberries, ornamental rose cultivars, and sweet potatoes.

Pinot Gris Virus in More Napa Vineyards
Ted Rieger at Wines & Vines
Grapevine Pinot Gris virus (GPGV) has been detected in vineyards in 14 locations in Napa County, but not in other California vineyard locations to date, based on initial findings from a statewide survey started in 2016 and funded through an American Vineyard Foundation research grant. These findings and an update on GPGV were presented by Dr. Maher Al Rwahnih, diagnostic and research lab director at Foundation Plant Services (FPS) at the University of California, Davis, during a day-long extension class, “Current Issues in Vineyard Health,” held Nov. 29 in Davis.

Winery owners' gift supports clean, sustainable agriculture
Christine Schmidt
Dean Dillard arrived at Foundation Plant Services (FPS) Monday morning expecting to attend a meeting to discuss FPS's work on behalf of the grape industry with Director Deborah Golino and John Dyson, owner of Williams Selyem Winery. So she was quite surprised when John announced his intention to give his first gift to UC Davis $500,000 toward a new endowed chair. more...

Davis - under-funded, over-achieving
The university maintains an exhaustive public database of grapevine cultivars and rootstocks available in the United States known as the National Grape Registry, as well as running an impressive nursery company selling virus-free versions of these vines, Foundation Plant Services. Known as FPS, this is the only dedicated grape importation facility in the country, which means that most vine material brought legally into the US goes through its doors.

Maher Al Rwahnih wins award from the American Phytopathological Society
CAES Currents Newsletter
Maher Al Rwahnih, a project scientist with Foundation Plant Services, has won the Lee M. Hutchins Award from the American Phytopathological Society. The award is given to the author of published research on the diseases of perennial fruit plants.

Industry upbeat about new UC Davis strawberry breeding research
Diane Nelson
Strawberry farmers and industry leaders say new science, education and collaborations underway at the UC Davis Public Strawberry Breeding Program bode well for the quality and sustainability of strawberries in California. The breeding program has launched a large-scale genetic disease-resistance experiment, added students and staff researchers to its expanding team, and planted strawberry-yield trials on five farms from Ventura to Watsonville.