Grape Clean Plant Centers
The National Clean Plant Network (NCPN) is a national program that promotes the use of healthy plant material for several important specialty crops in the United States. Healthy plant material is key to cost-effective production of specialty crops. It is easier to propagate and produce higher crop yields and better crop quality with healthy plant material, rather than common planting stock.
The most efficient approach to producing high quality plant material is through clean plant programs which screen valuable selections for viruses and other diseases that can be spread by contaminated material. This approach includes use of disease detection and pathogen elimination techniques, as well as isolation strategies.
The National Clean Plant Network for Grapes (NCPNG) is one of the NCPN specialty crop member networks, which operate under the aegis of the USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). APHIS regulates the importation of grapevine material from abroad and monitors release from quarantine of that material by the clean plant centers. Prior to release, the grapevine material must successfully undergo rigorous testing and , if necessary, disease elimination therapy to eliminate pathogens.
Five major clean plant centers from across the nation are the primary beneficiaries of NCPN funding related to grapevines. Information on each of the five centers may be accessed by the links to the left.
NCPN Grapes clean plant centers maintain collections of disease-tested grapevine selections that serve as the foundation for many state-certification programs such as the California Grapevine Registration & Certification Program. A higher national standard specifying stricter testing requirements for NCPN grapevines was established by the NCPN Grapes Board in 2009. After release to the foundation vineyard, the grapevines must be continually protected from infection and monitored for disease. Pathogen-tested plant material is distributed to grape nurseries, growers and the public from the foundation vineyards maintained by the clean plant centers.