Characterization of Vitis cinerea Engelm. ex Millardet fruits from the southern region of the State of Mexico, Mexico
- First Online:
- Cite this article as:
- Franco-Mora, O., Aguirre-Ortega, S., González-Huerta, A. et al. Genet Resour Crop Evol (2012) 59: 1899. doi:10.1007/s10722-012-9908-5
- 196 Views
The berries of eight plants of Vitis cinerea Engelm. ex Millardet growing in the mountains of the southern region of the State of Mexico, Mexico, during 2008–2010 (three seasons) were characterized according to the IPGRI descriptor. In addition, the fruit phenolics, total and reducing sugars and total soluble solids (TSS) were determined. Plant 169 produced over 100 fruits per bunch, with a berry weight of 0.32 g; these fruits presented an increased TSS value (20.4°B). The fruit phenolic content was increased in the berries of all the plants (at least 3 mg g−1 fresh weight) compared with the values reported for the commercial cultivars. Principal components 1 and 2 explained nearly 65 % of the observed variance. According to the biplot analysis, three groups were formed. Plants 169 and 183 were correlated with fruits per bunch, seeds per 10 fruits, the weight of berries per bunch, TSS, total sugars, bunch width and length. Plants 176, 188 and 129 were correlated with phenols, reducing sugars, seed weight in 10 fruits, seed length, the weight of 10 fruits, the weight of 100 seeds, and fruit and seed width. Additionally, plants 148, 180 and 184 were associated with peduncle length.
KeywordsConservationFruit phenolicsPlant genetic resourceRed grapesSugar contentVitis cinerea
Although the presence of several types of wild grapevines (Vitis spp.) has been reported, disturbances of the natural environment have reduced the biodiversity of the Vitis (Juss.) genus in Mexico (Franco-Mora et al. 2008a, b; Cruz et al. 2009). Additionally, in several regions of the world, the spread of a small number of cultivars, e.g., ‘Cabernet Sauvignon’, ‘Merlot’, and ‘Hyogo’, among others, has contributed to a reduction of grape genetic variability (Boursiquot, 2000; Vacca et al. 2009; Rakonjac et al. 2010). As an initial step to protect and conserve Vitis resources, several countries, e.g., Japan, Spain, and Italy, have begun to describe the morphological, biochemical and molecular characteristics of grape resources (Shiraishi and Shiraishi 1997; Ocete et al. 2008; Vacca et al. 2009).
The morphological characterization of wild Mexican grapevines has been reported (Franco-Mora et al. 2008b; Cruz et al. 2009). Moreover, in several countries, such as Spain, Japan, Serbia, and Argentina, among others, a combination of morphological and biochemical characterization has been recommended (Shiraishi and Shiraishi 1997; Asencio et al. 2002; González et al. 2009; Rakonjac et al. 2010). The grapevine descriptor (IPGRI et al. 1997) is one of the most employed methods of grape morphological characterization. Moreover, important qualities have been proposed for the biochemical description of Vitis (Shiraishi 1993, 1996; Shiraishi and Shiraishi 1997), including total sugar content, reducing and non-reducing sugar content, and acid content, as well as some coefficients, such as the α ratio (ratio of non-reducing/reducing sugars). In addition, Varandas et al. (2004) have suggested that the content of reducing sugars, primarily glucose and fructose, in grape skin should be determined in all cultivars because of the close association of these properties with the development of several pests.
In 2005, a national program in Mexico, supported by the National Ministry of Agriculture (SAGARPA), that aims to collect and describe Vitis ecotypes was initiated. Until recently, the principal goals of this program involved the description of vegetative parts, not including the fruit, of the ecotypes of wild grapevines native to two states in Central Mexico, Puebla and Veracruz. As this program developed, a huge population of Vitis cinerea Engelm. ex Millardet was identified in the southern portion of the State of Mexico in Central Mexico (Franco and Cruz 2012). This species is reportedly being used in breeding programs to generate cross partners to produce resistance against fungal diseases and insects. The use of V. cinerea for the production of jelly or liquor has also been reported (Natho 2001; Franco and Cruz 2012).
According to Moore (1991), V. cinerea presents “branchlets slightly to distinctly angled, branchlets of the season covered with dense, short, straight trichomes and/or thin to dense arachnoid pubescence, varying to glabrate. Bark exfoliating in shreds on mature stems, lenticels absent or inconspicuous, pith brown, interrupted by diaphragms at nodes, diaphragms 1.5–3.5 mm thick. Tendrils bifurcate to trifurcate, a tendril or inflorescence present at only 2 consecutive nodes, nodes of branchlets of the season often banded with red pigmentation, nodes not glaucous. Leaves with petioles about as long as the blades, puberulent to pubescent with hirtellous trichomes, thin arachnoid pubescence commonly present as well; blades cordiform, unlobed to 3-shouldered, occasionally 3-lobed, the apex acute to more commonly acuminate; margins crenate to dentate; upper surface of mature leaves glabrous to pubescent, lower surface not glaucous, slightly to moderately arachnoid pubescent, varying to glabrous, the pubescent mostly whitish; hirtellous trichomes also commonly present along the veins and as small tufts in the vein axils; stipulates 1–3 mm long. Panicles 10–25 cm long, usually broadly triangular in outline, infrutescence usually with more than 25 berries; 3 or 4 seeded berries 4-8 mm in diameter, black with little or no glaucescence, lenticels absent. Seed brown, obovoid, 2-4 mm long”. The same author noted that four varieties of this Vitis species had previously been identified: V. cinerea var. helleri (L. H. Bailey) M. O. Moore, V. cinerea var. cinerea, V. cinerea var. floridana Munson and V. cinerea var. baileyana (Munson) Comeaux.
The next steps in the assessment of the population of V. cinerea found in the southern region of the State of Mexico are its morphological and biochemical characterization and the study of potential uses for this plant genetic resource. The aim of this study was to determine the variation among plants over 3 years. The fruits of eight plants growing in the mountains of Temascaltepec and San Simón de Guerrero, Mexico, were morphologically characterized using an IPGRI-based method. In addition, total and reducing sugars and the content of phenolic compounds and total soluble solids (TSS) were determined.
Materials and methods
Location of the eight plants of Vitis cinerea in the southern region of the State of Mexico
The data were analyzed in a trial with two fixed factors: plants as the first factor and years as the second factor. When the F value was significant, the means were compared using Tukey’s test at 0.05. A principal component analysis was performed with the software “statistical analysis system (SAS)” (Sánchez 1995); a biplot graph was then constructed with the program Excel (González et al. 2010).
Results and discussion
Characteristics of bunch and peduncle of Vitis cinerea native to the southern region of the State of Mexico
Bunch length (cm)
Bunch width (cm)
Peduncle length (cm)
G × Y
Characteristics of berries of Vitis cinerea native to the southern region of the State of Mexico
Number per bunch
Weight per bunch (g)
Weight of 10 berries (g)
G × Y
Content of phenols, reducing sugars, total sugars and total soluble solids of Vitis cinerea berries native to the southern region of the State of Mexico
(mg g−1 FW)
(mg g−1 FW)
(mg g−1 FW)
Total soluble solids
Touriga nacional (flesh)
Reed seedless (flesh)
Reed seedless (peel)
G × Y
Notably, the plants used in the present research were not cultivated and are therefore growing under high environmental pressure; thus, these plants may be producing fruit phenolics in response to environmental factors. Tobar-Reyes et al. (2009) determined that several wild grapevines produced higher amounts of phenolic compounds, e.g., the stilbene resveratrol, in leaves than that produced by cultivated grapevines. This fact is partially consistent with the present research, as only the fruits of plant 129 had a higher phenolic compound content than the Portuguese ‘Touriga nacional’ (6.9 mg ETA g−1 FW); none of the V. cinerea fruit was superior to the phenolic content of the peel of ‘Reed seedless’ fruits (9.5 mg ETA g−1 FW), but all V. cinerea fruits had a higher phenolic content than the flesh of the ‘Reed seedless’ berries (0.2 mg ETA g−1 FW).
The TSS values ranged from 14.2 to 20.4°B; moreover, this characteristic, which is related to the sucrose and organic acid content, may have been influenced by the environmental conditions of each year of sampling (Santesteban and Royo 2006). Higher values were obtained in 2010, whereas for 2009, a lower value was observed. The TSS values presented in this work are lower than those reported by Vacca et al. (2009), who reported values of approximately 18 to 26°B in Sardinian red grape cultivars; in ‘Kreaca’ grapes, over a 3 year study, the TSS content was between 23 and 17°B. Similar to the present work, the values among those 3 years were significantly different (Rakonjac et al. 2010). According to Shiraishi et al. (2010), the TSS contents of the fruits of plants 148, 176 and 184 were low. However, those plants fruiting berries with a TSS content greater than 19°B, i.e., plants 169 and 183, should be studied further for their potential use in the production of foods derive from wild grapes.
Characteristics of seeds of Vitis cinerea growing in the southern region of the State of Mexico
10 fruits (g)
Weight of 100
G × Y
The weight of 100 seeds was a factor that exhibited non-statistically significant changes over the 3 year period (Table 5); thus, similar to bunch width, this component seems to be highly controlled by genetics. There were significant differences in the seed length, width and seed weight; but for the former factor, only two groups were formed. This factor must be tested more extensively because the changes each year were on the order of only 0.1 g in each of the 10 fruits.
The eight plants of V. cinerea were distributed within the four quadrants of the biplot. The higher variability in PC1 was associated with plants 129 and 148 in a positive and negative way, respectively. However, PC2 was related to plant 169. In Fig. 2, plants 169 and 183 were highly correlated with fruits per bunch, seeds per 10 fruits, weight of fruits per bunch, TSS, total sugars, bunch width and length. The three plants in the fourth quadrant, i.e., 176, 188 and 129, were significantly correlated with phenols, reducing sugars, seed weight in 10 fruits, seed length, weight of 10 fruits, weight of 100 seeds, and fruit and seed width. Additionally, plants 148, 180 and 184 were grouped according to peduncle length.
The weight of 10 fruits, that is the fruit weight, was correlated with the fruit width (0.912; 0.01) and the weight of 100 seeds (0.748; 0.05). That fruit width was associated with the fruit weight and was related to the weight of the seeds present in 10 fruits (0.749; 0.05) and the weight of 100 seeds (0.717; 0.05). These data may be explained by the scant presence of flesh in these fruits, and thus the seed is the heaviest fruit organ.
In a three-year study, among eight plants of Vitis cinerea growing in the mountains of the southern region of the State of Mexico, variability was identified in the bunch length and width; peduncle length; fruits per bunch; weight of fruits per bunch; weight of 10 fruits; fruit width; seeds per 10 fruits; seed length and width; weight of the seeds of 10 fruits; weight of 100 seeds; and the contents of fruit phenolics, reducing sugars, total sugars and total soluble solids. With the exception of bunch width and the weight of 100 seeds, differences in all parameters were observed among the three harvesting seasons; those factors that did not vary during the three-year period may represent constant values for the species. A principal component analysis formed three groups, suggesting variability among the sampled grapes and thereby increasing interest in studying this plant genetic resource for its conservation and use in Vitis breeding programs.
This project was financially supported by grants from the Universidad Autónoma del Estado de México (UAEM), the Mexican Ministry of Agriculture (SAGARPA) through the Sistema Nacional de Recursos Fitogenéticos (SINAREFI), and the Mexican Ministry of Education (SEP/PROMEP) for CA UAEM-127. S. Aguirre-Ortega was a fellow of the Mexican Council of Science and Technology (CONACYT).