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4th Scientific Meeting

Last Friday (July 12th) the Chapter hosted yet another edition of its Science Meeting: this time the focus was on optical biosensing for the food/drink industry, with a talk from Dr Paula Martins-Lopes from the University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro (UTAD).
4th Scientific Meeting

Dr Paula Martins-Lopes delivering her talk.

Talk summary

Grapevine (Vitis vinifera L.) traceability strategies: an integrated approach

Paula Martins-Lopesa, Leonor Pereiraa, Pedro Jorgeb, Carlos Gouveiab, Paula Tafulob, Daniel Alexandreb, José Eiras-Diasd, João Brazãod, Pedro Clímacod, Margarida Baleiras-Coutod, Sofia Catarinod, Ana Barrose, José Almeidac, António Graçaf, Raquel Queirósb, Helena Rodriguesa, Luis Moreiraa,c, José Ramiro Fernandesb,c,

aIBB-CGB, University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro, P.O. Box 1013, 5000-911 Vila Real, Portugal

bINESC Porto, Rua do Campo Alegre n. 687, 4169-007 Porto, Portugal

c University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro, P.O. Box 1013, 5000-911 Vila Real, Portugal

d INRB-INIA Dois Portos Quinta d’Almoínha, 2565-191 Dois Portos, Portugal

e CQ-Vila Real, University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro, P.O. Box 1013, 5000-911 Vila Real, Portugal

f Sogrape Vinhos Lda., Avintes, Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal

The wine market is a highly competitive sector worldwide, where high quality wines have a particular market niche. The wine’s quality is deeply influenced by the grapevine varieties used for its production, and most of these wines have the varietal composition discriminated on the label. Several approaches have been taken in order to develop methodologies capable of identifying the varietal composition of commercial wines. Our group is working in a multidisciplinary approach to target both variety identification and geographical origin.

For the varietal identification the group is working on two different DNA-based strategies:

  1. RealTime-PCR – through the development of an assay to rapidly detect SNPs using HRM (High resolution melting curve) approach, allowing the differentiation of the grapevine varieties according to their sequence variants.

  2. Label free optical biosensor platforms – through the detection of hybridization process using a label free DNA attached to optical sensor.

The differential absorption of metals from the soil has been used as indication of grape origin. In this work, region identification will be assessed by the strontium 87Sr/86Sr isotope determination. This approach will involve soil evaluation in the vineyards used in the experimental design followed by its assay in wines.

The development of alternative platforms for food traceability, in particular wine traceability, is a requirement that urges to be implemented, in order to defend producers and consumers best interest. An integrative approach may allow the development a quick and highly sensitive device suitable for fraud or mistakes detection.

Acknowledgments: Portuguese Science Foundation (FCT) PTDC/AGR-ALI/69516/2006; PTDC/AGR-ALI/117341/2010 and PhD grant SFRH/BD/44781/2008

Some media coverage of the project being presented is available here and here.

Speaker's biography

Paula Martins-Lopes graduated in Agriculture Engineering at the Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro University (UTAD), Portugal in 1996. She received her M.Sc. degree in Genetic Resources and Plant and Forestry Breeding from the UTAD, Portugal in 1999 and her Ph.D. in Genetics from UTAD, Portugal in 2006. The research for the M.Sc. and Ph.D. was performed in collaboration with the Cereals Department of the Cambridge Lab, John Innes Centre, Norwich, U.K. At the present, Paula F. Martins-Lopes, is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Genetic and Biotechnology, UTAD. She is a researcher at the Institute of Genetics and Biotechnology/Centre of Genetics and Biotechnology-University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro (CGB-UTAD/IBB) Portugal, and has been involved with studies on food traceability, aluminum stress and antigenotoxic effects of food using Drosophila melanogaster models. From her research work, Paula is author and co-author of 22 full-papers published SCI journals, 2 patents, 3 book chapters, 3 abstracts published in SCI journals, 1 full-paper published in peer-reviewed journal, 7 full papers in proceedings and 97 abstracts published in national and international meetings.

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