Laurent Deluc, PI

The Deluc Lab studies different aspects of plant crop development in relation with abiotic and biotic stresses. The major crop model that is studied is grapevine. Our research focuses on three main research themes; i) ripening, ii) long-distance communication between plant organs (shoot and roots), and iii), plant-pathogen interactions with a focus on Grape Leafroll Virus, a major worldwide pest in grape production. Using OMICS tools, we have gathered compelling evidence to link a series of gene(s) to economically important trait for grapevine production. Our next step is to validate the function of these genes using traditional genetic engineering and new breeding techniques (CRISPR/Cas9). To do so, we use the microvine (Chaïb et al., 2010), a grapevine model system amenable for genetic engineering because of its short-life cycle. We have sequenced the genome of microvine and are in the process of assembling it. Our next step is to create a series of mutant collections on targeted gene families known to be associated with economically important traits in grape production. We are currently developing a CRISPR interference and CRISPR activation pipeline to generate these mutants (Lowder et al., 2015).

Lab website:


Students will learn to process and analyze whole genome sequence data. Tasks may include assembling genome sequences (microvine), manually curating the functional annotation of gene models, designing, synthesizing, and cloning for CRIPSR experiments.


Students will learn fundamentals in gene editing, assembly of genomes, and fundamentals of gene structure. The students will also learn how to handle and share big data in a computing structure.


Chaïb J, Torregrosa L, Mackenzie D, Corena P, Bouquet A, Thomas MR (2010) The grape microvine - a model system for rapid forward and reverse genetics of grapevines. Plant J 62: 1083–1092

Lowder LG, Zhang D, Baltes NJ, Paul JW III, Tang X, Zheng X, Voytas DF, Hsieh T-F, Zhang Y, Qi Y (2015) A CRISPR/Cas9 Toolbox for Multiplexed Plant Genome Editing and Transcriptional Regulation. Plant Physiol 169: 971–985