Historical origins and genetic diversity of wine grapes

Trends Genet. 2006 Sep;22(9):511-9. doi: 10.1016/j.tig.2006.07.008. Epub 2006 Jul 26.


The genomic resources that are available to the grapevine research community have increased enormously during the past five years, in parallel with a renewed interest in grapevine (Vitis vinifera L.) germplasm resources and analysis of genetic diversity in grapes. Genetic variation, either natural or induced, is invaluable for crop improvement and understanding gene function, and the same is true for the grapevine. The history and vineyard cultural practices have largely determined the genetic diversity that exists today in grapevines. In this article, we provide a synopsis of what is known about the origin and genetics of grapes and how molecular genetics is helping us understand more about this plant: its evolution, historical development, genetic diversity and potential for genetic improvement.

Publication types

  • Historical Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Databases, Genetic
  • Evolution, Molecular*
  • Genetic Variation*
  • Geography
  • History, 15th Century
  • History, 16th Century
  • History, 17th Century
  • History, 18th Century
  • History, 19th Century
  • History, 20th Century
  • History, Ancient
  • History, Medieval
  • Models, Biological
  • Vitis / classification
  • Vitis / genetics*
  • Wine / history*