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September 15, 2022 33 min

Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi, known as AMF, has an interesting an important relationship with plants, grapevines included. AMF helps vines take up mineral nutrients, creates a layer of protection from pathogens by occupying plant cells, and seems to improve soil structure and water movement.  In turn, grapevines supply carbohydrates to the fungus. Scientists believe the pant calculates the value of giving carbon in exchange for nutrients provided by the AMF.

Tian Tian, Viticulture Farm Advisor, Cooperative Extension Kern County, UC Cooperative Extension studies this super host relationship between grapevines and AMF to determine how farmers can cultivate this natural alliance.

She also covers how different Nitrogen applications impact wine flavor. A winemaker can create tropical notes or clean flavors in Chardonnay through soil, foliar or winery applications of Nitrogen.


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Craig Macmillan  0:00  

Today is Dr. Tian Tian Viticultural Farm Advisor with Corporate Extension, Kern County, part of the UC Corporate Extension system. Dr. Tian, thank you for being with us today.


Dr Tian Tian  0:11 

Thanks for having me.


Craig Macmillan  0:12 

Can you tell us a little bit what's your role as a Viticulture Farm Advisor? That's a term that we hear but we don't always know kind of what it means.


Dr Tian Tian  0:19 

My title is a Viticulture Farm Advisor. So there's a three components involved in my job extension, research and education. So a lot of times what we do is we help growers to solve problems, through farm calls and to find better solutions for their problems through a research project. And if they are something, knowledge have been obtained through research or other sources, we communicate with growers and to inform them the availability of those knowledge. And the meanwhile, education is occurred during this process. Specifically for Kern County, this is a big area for grape production. So 60% of the grape in the county are table grapes, and close to 30% are wine grapes, and 10% is a rasin grapes. The nature of my work, I work close with table grape growers, then to help them to solve the production issues they may have. And they're teaching me a lot of things along the way.


Craig Macmillan  1:20 

I'm sure. I'm sure. So you have a role directly with farmers.


Dr Tian Tian  1:25 

Yeah, yeah, it's way, a lot of times we find those research questions in the vineyard and a grower call us to say, for example, last year, was it delayed, the spring grows, a lot of them are observed. Stunted growth, and they're just wondering what's happened. And then that is actually as a start off me to look into what it is the reasons lead to the problem. And next year, what can we do better. And then, early this year, when we have our annual meeting and a rower come and they just say, Okay, now we know how there's some practice we can use to avoid the problem again, and how to adjust our practice based on the weather we got in certain years. And what other thin

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