Results of comparative DNA analysis of Zinfandel with Austrian, Croatian, and Hungarian grape varieties by means of 13 SSR nuclear markers are reported. Twenty-six additional cultivars, representing Italian and foreign grapevines, were used as an outgroup in the search for clues that might indicate possible links with Zinfandel. Zinfandel clustered with the following cultivars: its offspring Plavac mali and Plavina, Dobričić, the other parent of Plavac mali, three Malvasias known to have a historical presence along Dalmatian coast, the Croatian cultivars Jarbola and Hrvatica, the Austrian cultivars Franconia and Veltliner frührot, and the Hungarian cultivars Furmint, Harzevelu, and Kadarka. All these varieties are localized in a well-defined geographic area that includes Austria, Dalmatia, and Hungary. The possible first-degree relationship of Zinfandel with Plavac mali and Plavina has been corroborated by results from 21 other SSR loci. An additional synonym for Zinfandel has been identified: Kratošija, an old variety growing in Montenegro.
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