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Project info 

Title: Development of Grapevine (Vitis vinifera L.) synthetic chimeras

Project leader: Darko Preiner, University of Zagreb, Faculty of Agriculture

Financed by: Croatian Science Fundation 

Cofinanced by: University of Zagreb, Faculty of Agriculture

Project duration: 15/06/2015 - 14/06/2018


Chimeras are plants which contain tissues of at least two genotypes in different cell layers, as well as organs from which they originate. Many grapevine cultivars and clones important for viticulture production today are periclinal chimeras which have evolved spontaneously because of the mutations in one layer of apical meristem (Pinot noir, grey and meunier, some clones of cultivar Chardonnay, Plavac mali grey etc.). In comparison with chimeras that have evolved from mutations, there are also so-called intra-and interspecific chimeras, which are consisted from two different genotypes originated from different cultivars or species.


This type of chimeras can develop spontaneously, from adventitious shoots that are grown on the graft union after grafting (grafting chimeras), so that there are many interspecific even intergeneric ones, for example: Citrus medica and C. aurantium; Laburnum anagyroides and Cytisus purpureus; Crataegus monogyna and Mespilus germanica. Except spontaneous chimeras, there are techniques which can be used for development of so-called synthetic chimeras, which are not sufficiently investigated in the case of grapevine. Considering that periclinal chimeras are lost during the generative production, their further development is justified only for the vegetatively propagated species like grapevine. Plant breeding based on the synthetic periclinal chimeras is called “chimeral breeding”.

In this project proposal, the possibilities of obtaining and detection of synthetic chimeras of different grapevine cultivars will be investigated, but also the synthetic chimeras of grapevine cultivars and other species of Vitis sp., used as the rootstocks because of their resistance to phylloxera, as well as to downy and powdery mildew.


University of Zagreb, Faculty of Agriculture

Darko Preiner, assistant professor- project leader 

Zvjezdana Marković, assistant professor

Anita Mihovilović Bošnjak, PhD

Silvio Šimon, PhD

Jasminka Karoglan Kontić, professor

Edi Maletić, professor

Domagoj Stupić, Dipl. ing.

Željko Andabaka, Dipl. ing.


University of Zagreb, Faculty of Science 

Dunja Leljak Levanić, professor


Institute for Biological Research „Sinisa Stankovic“,

University of Belgrade

Slađana Jevremović, assistant professor


CIRAD (Centre de Coopération Internationale en

Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement)

Montpellier, France

Hérvé Etienne, professor




Darko Preiner, assistant professor (project leader)

Institution: University of Zagreb, Faculy of Agriculture, Department of Viticulture and Enology 

Svetosimunska cesta 25, 10 000 Zagreb, Croatia


Phone: +385-1-2986-048

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