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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Management of Genetic Resources & Associated Information for Grape, Tree Fruit, Tree Nut, & Other Specialty Crops to Mediterranean Climates

Location: National Clonal Germplasm Rep - Tree Fruit & Nut Crops & Grapes

Title: Genetic structure and domestication history of the grape

Authors
item Myles, Sean -
item Boyko, Adam -
item Owens, Christopher
item Brown, Patrick -
item Grassi, Fabrizio -
item Aradhya, Mallikarjuna
item Prins, Bernard
item Reynolds, Andy -
item Chia, Jer-Ming -
item Ware, Doreen
item Bustamante, Carlos -
item Buckler, Edward -

Submitted to: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: December 9, 2010
Publication Date: March 1, 2011
Citation: Myles, S., Boyko, A.R., Owens, C.L., Brown, P.J., Grassi, F., Aradhya, M.K., Prins, B.H., Reynolds, A., Chia, J., Ware, D., Bustamante, C.D., Buckler, E.S. 2011. Genetic structure and domestication history of the grape. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 108:3530-3535.

Interpretive Summary: The grape is one of the earliest domesticated fruit crops and, since antiquity, it has been widely cultivated and prized for its fruit and wine. Here, we characterize genome-wide patterns of genetic variation in over 1,000 samples of the domesticated grape, Vitis vinifera subsp. vinifera, and its wild relative, V. vinifera subsp. sylvestris from the US Department of Agriculture grape germplasm collection. We find support for a Near East origin of vinifera and present evidence of introgression from local sylvestris as the grape moved into Europe. High levels of genetic diversity and rapid linkage disequilibrium (LD) decay have been maintained in vinifera, which is consistent with a weak domestication bottleneck followed by thousands of years of widespread vegetative propagation. The considerable genetic diversity within vinifera, however, is contained within a complex network of close pedigree relationships that has been generated by crosses among elite cultivars. We show that first-degree relationships are rare between wine and table grapes and among grapes from geographically distant regions. Our results suggest that although substantial genetic diversity has been maintained in the grape subsequent to domestication, there has been a limited exploration of this diversity. We propose that the adoption of vegetative propagation was a double-edged sword: Although it provided a benefit by ensuring true breeding cultivars, it also discouraged the generation of unique cultivars through crosses. The grape currently faces severe pathogen pressures, and the long-term sustainability of the grape and wine industries will rely on the exploitation of the grape’s tremendous natural genetic diversity.

Technical Abstract: The grape is one of the earliest domesticated fruit crops and, since antiquity, it has been widely cultivated and prized for its fruit and wine. Here, we characterize genome-wide patterns of genetic variation in over 1,000 samples of the domesticated grape, Vitis vinifera subsp. vinifera, and its wild relative, V. vinifera subsp. sylvestris from the US Department of Agriculture grape germplasm collection. We find support for a Near East origin of vinifera and present evidence of introgression from local sylvestris as the grape moved into Europe. High levels of genetic diversity and rapid linkage disequilibrium (LD) decay have been maintained in vinifera, which is consistent with a weak domestication bottleneck followed by thousands of years of widespread vegetative propagation. The considerable genetic diversity within vinifera, however, is contained within a complex network of close pedigree relationships that has been generated by crosses among elite cultivars. We show that first-degree relationships are rare between wine and table grapes and among grapes from geographically distant regions. Our results suggest that although substantial genetic diversity has been maintained in the grape subsequent to domestication, there has been a limited exploration of this diversity. We propose that the adoption of vegetative propagation was a double-edged sword: Although it provided a benefit by ensuring true breeding cultivars, it also discouraged the generation of unique cultivars through crosses. The grape currently faces severe pathogen pressures, and the long-term sustainability of the grape and wine industries will rely on the exploitation of the grape’s tremendous natural genetic diversity.

Last Modified: 10/22/2014
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