Genomic amplification of the Gret1 retroelement in white-fruited accessions of wild vitis and interspecific hybrids

Theor Appl Genet. 2008 May;116(8):1079-94. doi: 10.1007/s00122-008-0737-z.


Retrotransposons are retrovirus-related mobile sequences that have the potential to replicate via RNA intermediates and increase the genome size by insertion into new sites. The retroelement, Gret1, has been identified as playing a key role in generating fruit color variation in cultivated grape (Vitis vinifera L.) due to its insertion into the promoter of VvMybA1. Fruit color variation is an important distinguishing feature of cultivated grapes and virtually no fruit color variation is observed in wild grape species. The presence and relative copy number of Gret1 was assessed using quantitative PCR on 22 different Vitis species, only four of which (plus interspecific hybrids) are known to contain white accessions. Gret1 copy number was observed to vary by species as well as by color within species and was significantly higher in white-fruited accessions across all taxa tested. Additionally, genomic regions surrounding Gret1 insertion were sequenced in white V. vinifera, hybrid, V. labrusca, V. aestivalis, and V. riparia accessions.

MeSH terms

  • DNA, Plant / genetics
  • Fruit / genetics*
  • Gene Amplification*
  • Genes, Plant / genetics
  • Genome, Plant*
  • Phenotype
  • Pigmentation / genetics*
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Retroelements / genetics*
  • Vitis / genetics*


  • DNA, Plant
  • Retroelements