Forty-five grape accessions, traditional and historically mentioned in Apulia (southeastern Italy), were genotyped at 13 microsatellite (SSR) markers and observed for their morphological features with the aim of characterizing and identifying the local grape diversity relevant for economic or historical significance and for endangered germplasm conservation. Twelve of the 45 accessions examined were found to be synonyms or somatic mutants, leaving 33 distinct genotypes. Attempts were then made to verify the true identities of the accessions investigated and to determine their appropriate denominations. This entailed comparing them with published allelic profiles and morphological features of cultivars from Apulia and from surrounding areas linked historically to the region. While confirming the identity of the major Apulian cultivars, further matches with varieties from other Mediterranean regions were revealed. Approximately half of the Apulian cultivars investigated were found to have a foreign counterpart mainly along the Adriatic Sea (Croatia), in Greece, or in other southern Italian regions. The new synonymies found with cultivars traditional to other areas shed light on the migration of cultivars following the settlement of colonies and the historical establishment of Mediterranean trade routes.
- ©2014 by the American Society for Enology and Viticulture