Background: The Eurasian grapevine is the most widespread fruit crop in the world. Numerous studies have focused on clarifying the events of domestication and the geographical areas in which they occurred.
Objectives: In order to add upon information on the process of grapevine domestication, the distribution and genetic diversity of a small, wild population localized in Poggio Ghiaccio Forte, an archaeological site in Maremma (Southern Tuscany), were assessed. In a preliminary survey the wild forms of Vitis vinifera L. were identified based on morphological traits.
Method: Fourty-two accessions of Vitis vinifera ssp. sylvestris were collected near the Albegna river and its secondary conduits. As a control, four non-vinifera grapevines (Vitis berlandieri, Vitis riparia Fabre, rupestris Constantia, rupestris H. Goethe) and ten varieties of Vitis vinifera ssp. sativa characterizing the Tuscan grapevine germplasm (Sangiovese, Ciliegiolo, Aleatico, Ansonica, Canaiolo Nero, Trebbiano Toscano, Barsaglina, Malvasia Lunga, Moscato Bianco, Abrusco) were added to the wild population. All fifty-six vines were treated as one population and tested by 10 SSR-based genotyping.
Results: According to SSR analysis, the wild population seems to be characterized by a systematic reduction of observed compared to expected heterozygosity due to the tendency of inbreeding and genetic trait fixation.
There are a lot of registered patents about different applications involving Vitis vinifera mostly relating to disease resistance, grapevine fitness and novel combinations of antioxidants useful in therapeutic, foodstuff and cosmetic fields.