An extensive study of the genetic diversity within seven French wine grape variety collections
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The process of vegetative propagation used to multiply grapevine varieties produces, in most cases, clones genetically identical to the parental plant. Nevertheless, spontaneous somatic mutations can occur in the regenerative cells that give rise to the clones, leading to consider varieties as populations of clones that conform to a panel of phenotypic traits. Using two sets of nuclear microsatellite markers, the present work aimed at evaluating and comparing the intravarietal genetic diversity within seven wine grape varieties: Cabernet franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chenin blanc, Grolleau, Pinot noir, Riesling, Savagnin, comprising a total number of 344 accessions of certified clones and introductions preserved in French repositories. Ten accessions resulted in being either self-progeny, possible offspring of the expected variety or misclassified varieties. Out of the 334 remaining accessions, 83 displayed genotypes different from the varietal reference, i.e., the microsatellite profile shared by the larger number of accessions. They showed a similarity value ranging from 0.923 to 0.992, and thus were considered as polymorphic monozygotic clones. The fraction of polymorphic clones ranged from 2 to 75% depending on the variety and the set of markers, the widest clonal diversity being observed within the Savagnin. Among the 83 polymorphic clones, 29 had unique genotype making them distinguishable; others were classified in 21 groups sharing the same genotype. All microsatellite markers were not equally efficient to show diversity within clone collections and a standard set of five microsatellite markers (VMC3a9, VMC5g7, VVS2, VVMD30, and VVMD 32) relevant to reveal clonal polymorphism is proposed.