Genetic diversity was evaluated at nine chloroplast microsatellite (cpSSR) loci in 16 grapevine cultivars indigenous to northeastern Italy and seven international cultivars. The aim was to understand the origin and genetic relatedness of local varieties for the development of an adequate strategy of future germplasm conservation. The 21 alleles detected constituted eight different haplotypes, three of which have never been observed and should be considered typical of northeastern Italy. This collection has a higher haplotype diversity (0.71) than that detected in other regions, thus representing a unique genetic resource to be conserved. The distribution of haplotype frequency also suggests the existence of independent domestication events.
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