Original research articles

Biochemical characterization of Tunisian grapevine varieties


61 tunisian autochton grapevine varieties have been collected for biochemical identification. Isozymes analysis with starch gel electrophoresis technique was used to confirn or to cancel random denominations awarded to the majority of these local varieties. In our conditions, concentrated plant extracts were obtained from vigorous donnant canes newly cut off from selected mother plants during automn. These allowed us to dispose of rigorously interpretable isozyme banding patterns of GPI and PGM systems and to overcome difficulties often related to the use of PGM system. The study of GPII and PGM enzyme systems allowed us to classify the autochton accessions into 16 different groups from which 5 groups containing only 2 or 3 varieties.

On the other hand, the study of AAT and peroxydase enzyme systems has shown stable and legible isozyme banding patterns allowing to discriminate between equivalent accessions such as Sakasly and Kahli (two black local vines very similar), 3 varieties of Bidh Hamem (Bidh Hamem, Bidh Hamem Rafraf and Bidh Hamem Sfax), and 2 varieties of Bezzoul Kelba Bidha (Sfax and Gabes). In addition, certain varieties having for longtime the same denominations were characterized. A case of point the 4 varieties Khalt meaning mixture (Bouchemma, Abiedh, Mdaouer and Souche 1) and the 3 varieties of Arich (Ahmar, Dressée, and Jerba) were proved to be completely different from each other. In the same way, Bezzoul Khadem has been differed from Hemri variety. The complementary use of berry colour allowed to discriminate between Saouadi, Khdhiri and Jebbi varieties and to subdivise the remainig groups into sub-groups.

The study of GPI, PGM, AAT and peroxydase isozyme banding patterns in combination with berry colour has led to establish a classification of the 61 autochton varieties into 37 groups including 26 varieties definitely differentiated through the results of this biochemical study.


Ferjani Ben Abdallah

Affiliation : Faculté des Sciences de Sfax, Département des Sciences de la vie, B.P. 802, 3018 La Soukra Sfax, Tunisie

Farhat Chibani

Affiliation : I.N.R.S.T, B.P. 95, 2050 Hammam-Lif (Tunisie)

Asma Fnayou

Affiliation : I.N.R.S.T, B.P. 95, 2050 Hammam-Lif (Tunisie)

Abdelwahed Ghorbel


Affiliation : Institut of Biotechnology Laboratory of Grapevine Molecular Physiology BP 901 Hammam Lif 2050 Tunisia

Jean-Michel Boursiquot

Affiliation : UMR 1097, DIAPC, INRA – Montpellier SupAgro, Équipe « Diversité, Génétique et Génomique Vigne », place Viala, 34060 Montpellier, France


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