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Genetic diversity analysis of cultivated and wild grapevine (Vitis vinifera L.) accessions around the Mediterranean basin and Central Asia

The CBGP group “GENETIC AND MOLECULAR ANALYSIS OF CROP NATURAL VARIATION ”, in collaboration with researchers from University of Davis and USDA, CA (USA), University of Milan (Italy), University of Georgia, Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences, Institute for Adriatic Crops (Croatia) and INRA, Montpellier, (France), has recently published the origins of the domesticated grapevine. This is the first time that the results support at least two separate domestication events that gave raise to cultivated grape; one derived from the Transcaucasian wild grape and another from the wild grape of Western Europe.

The mountainous region between the Caucasus and China is considered to be the center of domestication for grapevine. Despite the importance of Central Asia in the history of grape growing, information about the extent and distribution of grape genetic variation in this region is limited in comparison to wild and cultivated grapevines from around the Mediterranean basin. A total of 1378 wild and cultivated grapevines collected around the Mediterranean basin and from Central Asia were tested with a set of 20 nuclear SSR markers. Genetic data were analyzed (Cluster analysis, Principal Coordinate Analysis and STRUCTURE) to identify groups, and the results were validated by Nei’s genetic distance, pairwise FST analysis and assignment tests. All of these analyses identified three genetic groups: G1, wild accessions from Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia; G2, cultivars from Spain, France, Italy, Georgia, Iran, Pakistan and Turkmenistan, which included a small group of wild accessions from Georgia and Croatia and G3, wild accessions from Croatia, France, Italy and Spain; and. Wild accessions from Georgia clustered with cultivated grape from the same area (proles pontica), but also with Western Europe (proles occidentalis), supporting Georgia as the ancient center of grapevine domestication. In addition, cluster analysis indicated that Western European wild grapes grouped with cultivated grapes from the same area, suggesting that the cultivated proles occidentalis contributed more to the early development of wine grapes than the wild vines from Eastern Europe.

The results support at least two separate domestication events that gave raise to cultivated grape; one derived from the Transcaucasian wild grape and another from the wild grape of Western Europe.

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Original Paper:

Riaz, S; De Lorenzis, G; Velasco, D; Koehmstedt, A; Maghradze, D; Bobokashvili, Z; Musayev, M; Zdunic, G; Laucou, V; Andrew Walker, M; Failla, O; Preece, JE; Aradhya, M; Arroyo-Garcia, R. 2018. "Genetic diversity analysis of cultivated and wild grapevine (Vitis vinifera L.) accessions around the Mediterranean basin and Central Asia". BMC Plant Biology. DOI: 10.1186/s12870-018-1351-0".

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