A population genetics approach was used to assess the role of local wild-vine populations (Vitis vinifera ssp. sylvestris) in the domestication and breeding of central and west European grapevine cultivars. The genetic differentiation detected among seven grapevine gene pools (cultivars from Austria and Germany, France, Italy, Croatia, Greece, Spain, and Portugal) was low but significant in the nuclear genome (FST of 0.05) and substantial for a chloroplast marker (FST of 0.30). Genetic distances correlate with geographic distances among regions. The significant differentiation indicates that the rate of gene flow caused by dissemination of cultivated grapevine plants was not sufficient to genetically homogenize the cultivars grown in different regions and suggests that local domestication and introgression of wild vines predominated over the introduction of cultivars from more advanced wine-producing regions.
- Copyright 2003 by the American Society for Enology and Viticulture