The University of California Davis is building a special greenhouse to protect the future of America’s wine grape industry. Foundation Plant Services, provides virus tested grapevine plant material to nurseries, which are then sold to vineyards.


“We provide plant material to other states on the east coast, also Washington, Oregon and the Midwest,” noted director of the FPS, Maher Al Rwahnih. He added the new 14,000 square foot, $5 million clean greenhouse is designed to keep insects and diseases out.

“It’s very important that we provide the growers with a source of clean plant material because for plant viruses, and viruses in general, there is no cure. So, we want to make sure that tested and cleaned certified plant material is what all the growers start with.”

Al Rwahnih said Red Blotch disease has been detected in the two traditional outdoor fields at UC Davis, spreading at a troubling rate. Researchers are propagating material from healthy plants, to eventually move into the new greenhouse; which is scheduled to open by the end of 2023.

He noted second greenhouse is also planned.

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