Key Researcher in Sequencing Grape Genome to Present Honorary Research Lecture at ASEV’s Annual Meeting

This June, guests at the American Society for Enology and Viticulture’s (ASEV) 58th Annual Meeting will receive a rare insight into the science of mapping the grape genome when internationally esteemed Dr. Riccardo Velasco of Italy presents the Society’s Honorary Research Lecture. The science team’s leader in the European collaborative research breakthrough on grape genome sequencing, Velasco will speak at the Reno meeting on June 21.

Velasco’s talk, “Beyond the Genome: Opportunities for a New Concept of Viticulture – A Research Overview,” will summarize the collaborative research on the recent accomplishment of completing the grape genome sequencing in Pinot noir grapes. Already, Velasco’s work is fostering the development of vines better adapted to difficult climatic conditions and more resistant to plant diseases and pests, which should simultaneously lead to a reduction in the use of pesticides.

Velasco earned his bachelor’s degree in agriculture science from the University of Florence and a doctorate in plant molecular biology from the University of Koln. He joined the faculty at the Istituto Agrario San Michele all’Adige, Italy, as a senior scientist and is currently head of the university’s genetics and molecular biology department. Over the years, he has collaborated with other universities on a variety of research projects exploring the grape and apple genomes. In addition to his extensive research work, Velasco has served as an ad hoc reviewer for a number of revered industry trade publications, including the American Journal of Enology and Viticulture.

The Annual Meeting will take place from June 19 to 22 at the Grand Sierra Resort (previously Reno Hilton) in Reno, Nevada.  For more information about the Annual Meeting, please visit