The Austrian scientist Dr. Dipl. Ing. Ferdinand Regner (born 1963) is considered a pioneering developer of genotypic characterization of grape varieties using molecular genetics. He enrolled at the University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences in Vienna in 1981 and enrolled there in food and biotechnology. From 1988 he worked in the field of plant biotechnology at the Institute of Applied Microbiology with the topic "Resistance breeding with genetic engineering methods". His dissertation also dealt with this topic, for which he was awarded the Austrian Biotechnology Prize in 1992. Since 1993 he has been working at the Klosterneuburg Viticulture Institute, Department of Vine Breeding, where he established a molecular research unit. A database was established containing microsatellite data of more than 450 grape varieties and 1,200 individual genotypes.
For his research on variety identification he received the German Peter Morio Prize in 1998 and the Rudolf Hermann's Stiftung Prize (Geisenheim Institute) in 2000. He is in charge of a long-term project "Cross-breeding", with the aim of mildew-resistant quality white wine varieties. In the EU project "GenRes 081" Dr. Regner is working on the registration of grape varieties and has already been able to identify some new, previously unrecognised varieties. Amongst other things, he demonstrated the great importance of the two groups of varieties, Franconian and Heunisch(Gouais Blanc), as a gene pool for many of today's European varieties by means of corresponding DNA analyses. He determined the ancestry or parentage of many grape varieties such as Grüner Veltliner, Morillon, Müller-Thurgau (father variety), Neuburger, Österreichisch-Weiß, Riesling, Silvaner and Elbling.