Aim: The objective of the present study is to investigate the molecular characteristics of Sardinian grapevine cultivars to evaluate cases of synonyms and false attributions to protect local agro-biodiversity.
Methods and results: The SSR analysis (13 loci) has been used to define the DNA fingerprint and the relationships with Sardinian grapevine cultivars. Results highlighted a high genetic variability among the accessions, with the Dice coefficients performing from 0 to 0.8. Despite the genetic richness, thirteen groups of redundant genotypes were detected. Molecular analysis refers of cultivars harbouring the same SSR profile but different berry colours such as cultivars Licronaxu Bianco and Nero and Moscatello Bianco and Nero. It could by hypothesized that Licronaxu and Moscatello could derive from a specific retrotransposon-induced mutation event in genes regulating anthocyanin biosynthesis.
Conclusion: Sardinian germplasm has a real problem of cultivar identification probably due to different factors such as the absence of an exhaustive ampelography, problems in the language to name varieties and the existence of cultivars sensitive to biotic and abiotic stresses producing evident morphological modifications leading to mistakes in recognising and identifying properly the affected plants. However, our molecular results suggest that high grape-biodiversity is still preserved in this region.
Significance and impact of study: Results of this work clarified the relationships among grapevine cultivars and provided a solid basis to improve a regional grapevine collection.
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