Since the last decades grapevine germplasm is undergoing a process of rapid genetic erosion. This process is of particular concern in minor circum-Sicilian islands, because of the sharp reduction of the cultivated surfaces and the shift of their economy from agriculture to tourism. Aiming at valorising and preserving the surviving varieties we collected 185 accessions during several surveys since 2007. Six nuclear microsatellite markers were used for germplasm characterization, yielding 75 different genetic profiles. We found out that most genetic profiles (39) were not listed in national and international grapevine databases, confirming that the Sicilian minor islands represent underexplored hotspots of genetic diversity for grapevine. We also identified several synonymies, often due to geographic isolation, having 20 varieties at least two names. Conversely, 18 homonyms collectively indicated 34 genetically different accessions. Interviews with farmers provided information on current and past usage, and the origin and type of cultivation practices as well. The study also shows the urgent need for preservation of local grapevine germplasm, due to the disappearance of the elder caretakers of these traditional varieties. For rare germplasm preservation most part of the collected grapevine cultivars were introduced in an ex situ collection field.
|Number of pages||21|
|Journal||Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution|
|Publication status||Published - 2016|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Agronomy and Crop Science
- Plant Science