Background: Magna Graecia is the ancient name for the modern geopolitical region of South Italy extensively populated by Greek colonizers, shown by archeological and historical evidence to be the oldest wine growing region of Italy, crucial for the spread of specialized viticulture around Mediterranean shores. Here, the genetic diversity of Magna Graecia grape germplasm was assessed and its role in grapevine propagation around the Mediterranean basin was underlined. Results: A large collection of grapevines from Magna Graecia was compared with germplasm from Georgia to the Iberian Peninsula using the 18 K SNP array. A high level of genetic diversity of the analyzed germplasm was determined; clustering, structure analysis and DAPC (Discriminant Analysis of Principal Components) highlighted the genetic relationships among genotypes from South Italy and the Eastern Mediterranean (Greece). Gene flow from east (Georgia) to west (Iberian Peninsula) was identified throughout the large number of detected admixed samples. Pedigree analysis showed a complex and well-structured network of first degree relationships, where the cultivars from Magna Graecia were mainly involved. Conclusions: This study provided evidence that Magna Graecia germplasm was shaped by historical events that occurred in the area due to the robust link between South Italian and Greek genotypes, as well as, by the availability of different thermal resources for cultivars growing in such different winegrowing areas. The uniqueness of this ampelographic platform was mainly an outcome of complex natural or human-driven crosses involving elite cultivars.
|Number of pages||15|
|Journal||BMC Plant Biology|
|Publication status||Published - 2019|