30 January 2017. Source: Genetic Literacy Project
Grapes that make wines are some of the most genetically modified organisms in the world. It’s just that this modification hasn’t happened using modern gene-editing.

But now, a number of studies are underway to introduce new traits in wine grapes through GMO techniques…

  • At Rutgers University in New Jersey, researchers led by Rong Di Di’s plant genetics lab isolated three genes in grapes that appear to allow powdery mildew spores to attach and attack wine grapes, particularly chardonnay.
  • Last summer, Isak Pretorius, Vice Chancellor of Macquarie University in Australia and a specialist in plant and wine biotechnology, wrote a review of the yeast that sparks wine fermentation, Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The yeast was the first organism to function with a completely synthetic chromosome.
  • A genetic engineering effort showed techniques that could increase levels of resveratrol, a compound in red wine at last tentatively linked to certain health effects, and also to reduce or even eliminate the hangover effects from drinking wine.