Theoretical and Applied Genetics

, Volume 107, Issue 3, pp 448–454 | Cite as

Microsatellite analysis of ancient alpine grape cultivars: pedigree reconstruction of Vitis vinifera L. 'Cornalin du Valais'

  • J. VouillamozEmail author
  • D. Maigre
  • C. P. Meredith


Ancient and closely related grape cultivars from the Alps were analyzed with 50 microsatellite markers: 'Cornalin', 'Humagne Rouge' and 'Goron' from Valais (Switzerland); 'Cornalin', 'Petit Rouge' and 'Mayolet' from the Aosta Valley (Italy). Our results confirmed previous studies showing that the 'Cornalin' cultivars from Switzerland and Italy are distinct, and that 'Humagne Rouge' is identical to 'Cornalin' from the Aosta Valley. We propose the nomenclature 'Cornalin du Valais' and 'Cornalin d'Aoste' in order to prevent further confusion. At each locus, 'Goron', 'Petit Rouge', 'Mayolet' and 'Cornalin d'Aoste' all share at least one allele with 'Cornalin du Valais', strongly suggesting parent/offspring relationships. Alleles at 49 out of 50 microsatellite loci are consistent with 'Cornalin du Valais' being the progeny of 'Petit Rouge' and 'Mayolet'. The exception is a 10-base pair discrepancy at one locus, most likely the result of somatic mutation in one of the parents, since this parentage is supported by high likelihood ratios and historical data. We hypothesize that 'Cornalin du Valais' originated in the Aosta Valley through a natural cross and was then introduced into Valais centuries ago, probably via the Great St. Bernard Pass. Furthermore, 'Cornalin du Valais' is likely to be one of the parents of both 'Goron' and 'Cornalin d'Aoste', the respective second parents remaining unknown. This pedigree provides a convincing explanation for the allele-sharing patterns and is strongly supported by historical data. The present work is the first grapevine parentage study to deal with a multiple repeat unit discrepancy at a microsatellite locus. We suggest that the use of increasingly large numbers of loci in making parentage determinations leads to a corresponding increase in the probability of encountering a locus with intra-cultivar variability during the analysis. We therefore assume that a sole multiple repeat unit discrepancy is not sufficient to discard a parentage hypothesis.


Vitis vinifera Microsatellite Parentage Mutation Pedigree reconstruction 



The authors would like to thank Claude-Henri Carruzzo and Michel Pont (Office Cantonal d'Agriculture, Ecole d'Agriculture de Châteauneuf-Conthey, Switzerland) and Giulio Moriondo (Institut Agricole Régional, Aosta, Italy) for collaboration in the sampling and helpful comments; Dr. Summaira Riaz, Gerald Dangl, Keith Garrison and Daniel Fischl (Department of Viticulture and Enology, University of California, Davis, USA) for their help and valuable comments on this paper; Bernard H. Prins (National Clonal Germplasm Repository, USDA-ARS, University of California, Davis, USA) for the authorization of using his DNA-Data computer program (available upon request at Preliminary works and sampling were supported by contributions from Fondation du 450e Anniversaire de l'Université de Lausanne and from Canton du Valais (Switzerland). This research was funded by a grant from the Swiss National Science Foundation.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Viticulture and Enology, University of California, One Shields Avenue, Davis 95616 CA, USA
  2. 2.Station fédérale de Changins (RAC), Centre viticole du Caudoz, 1021 Pully, Switzerland

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