Conservation Genetics

, Volume 7, Issue 6, pp 837–845 | Cite as

Phylogeographical structure and conservation genetics of wild grapevine

  • F. Grassi
  • M. Labra
  • S. Imazio
  • R. Ocete Rubio
  • O. Failla
  • A. Scienza
  • F. Sala


The distribution of Vitis vinifera subsp. silvestris, the wild grapevine subspecies of Vitis vinifera L., has been dramatically reduced in its major sites of diffusion, at first by the spread, over the last 150 years, of pathogens from North America and, more recently, with fragmentation of habitat and disbranching by humans. In this work, 418 wild grapevine samples, belonging to 78 populations, were collected in their main Mediterranean distribution areas, including the Caucasus area, and the extent of their genetic variability evaluated by analysing plastid microsatellite DNA polymorphism. Results show low haplotype diversity value, with five haplotypes detected within the analysed populations. The highest within-population haplotypic diversity, with the presence of all five detected haplotypes, was found in the Caucasus regions and in the central regions of Italy. The distribution of all detected haplotypes suggests the Caucasian region as the possible center of origin of Vitis vinifera subsp. silvestris. A principal plastid lineage was found to be fixed in several locations, in the Northernmost European countries and in the Southern island of Sardinia. These results draw attention to two different refugium sites in the Mediterranean basin and suggest that conservation priority should be given to grapevine populations still preserved in hotspots of these regions.

Key words

biodiversity chloroplast microsatellite conservation phylogeography populations Vitis vinifera subsp. silvestris 


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This research was supported by the Italian Ministry of Environment and Environmental Protection, within the research project “Research and development in biotechnology applied to the protection of the environment, in collaboration with the Popular Republic of China” (years 2005–2007) and by the FIRB-RNBE01SF project, MIUR, Italy. We wish to thank W. Tiefenbrunner, F.␣Regner, P. Madera, F. Selvi., M.A. Lopez, G.␣Lovicu, for their valuable help in collecting wild grapewine and Roberto Brontini for technical assistance in the molecular analysis.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • F. Grassi
    • 1
  • M. Labra
    • 2
  • S. Imazio
    • 3
  • R. Ocete Rubio
    • 4
  • O. Failla
    • 3
  • A. Scienza
    • 3
  • F. Sala
    • 1
    • 5
  1. 1.Botanical Garden, Department of BiologyUniversity of MilanMilanItaly
  2. 2.Department of Environmental ScienceUniversity of Milano-BicoccaMilanItaly
  3. 3.Department of Crop SciencesUniversity of MilanMilanoItaly
  4. 4.Laboratory of Applied ZoologyUniversity of SevillaSevillaSpain
  5. 5.IBFMilanItaly

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