Aim: Grapevine is a traditional crop in Asturias (northern Spain). However, an important part of the varietal heritage of this region is still unknown. Great biodiversity was reported in previous surveys, with varietal identification being carried out via microsatellite markers. The aim of the present study was to confirm the previous genetic identification and provide the first description of the unknown cultivars.
Methods and results: Forty cultivars were described in situ over a two-year period through 58 ampelographic descriptors. A model description was performed for each cultivar and great variability was found : white, red and rosé grape cultivars ; hybrids ; winemaking and dual-use (wine and table grapes) cultivars ; and some teinturier cultivars. Cluster analysis grouped cultivars with similar characteristics.
Conclusion: Ampelographic description was complementary to molecular identification in confirming the identity of the studied cultivars. Moreover, unknown cultivars have been described for the first time. Complete characterization is necessary because these cultivars constitute valuable genetic resources for crop breeding programmes.
Significance and impact of the study: Considering the limited number of accessions of the unknown cultivars and the replanting of old vineyards with vines approved by Cangas Quality Wine regulations, their conservation and study is vital to provide genetic resources for potential breeding or technological purposes in the future.
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