NEWS: Big news! Most grapes are kissing cousins!

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NEWS: Big news! Most grapes are kissing cousins!

Postby wnissen » Sun Jan 23, 2011 12:32 pm

I have been waiting for years, ever since I heard about the work of Carole Meredith analyzing grape genetic markers, for someone to do a large-scale study of those markers. Now an article in New Scientist ( http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg2 ... nline-news ) discusses research done on 583 cultivars, which they claim represents every cultivated variety in existance! The money shot is this picture, showing the known relationships:

Image

I highly recommend clicking through to the full text of the article to see the "family tree" in all its glory: http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2011/ ... l.pdf+html

Lest you get too excited, it's not really a family tree, because the ultimate parents aren't known in most cases. In other words, though it looks like Traminer is the parent, it's really just one of many.

Walt
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Re: NEWS: Big news! Most grapes are kissing cousins!

Postby Paul Winalski » Sun Jan 23, 2011 2:39 pm

Fascinating! Thanks for sharing this.
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Whatta Crock...

Postby TomHill » Sun Jan 23, 2011 9:48 pm

wnissen wrote:Image

I highly recommend clicking through to the full text of the article to see the "family tree" in all its glory: http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2011/ ... l.pdf+html

Lest you get too excited, it's not really a family tree, because the ultimate parents aren't known in most cases. In other words, though it looks like Traminer is the parent, it's really just one of many.

Walt


Whatta crock, Walt. Everyone...but everyone knows that Syrah is the center of the viticultural universe...not Traminer!!! :-)
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Re: Whatta Crock...

Postby Bob H » Mon Jan 24, 2011 12:38 am

Whatta crock, Walt. Everyone...but everyone knows that Syrah is the center of the viticultural universe...not Traminer!!! :-)
Tom



It's just like everyone's family tree going back to Mary Queen of Scots.
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OhOhOhOh... Let's Talk About Sex...

Postby TomHill » Mon Jan 24, 2011 5:20 pm

Love it when we can talk sex on a wine board......combining two of my favorite hobbies!!! :-)

Interesting article, Walt....now that I've read it. Much of it is way above my head. After all, I'm only a simple country computational physicist.
But some interesting nuggets that I could glean from the article:
1. Didn't realize the importance of Vitis Sylvestris in the evolution of Vinifera.
2. That the vegetative propagation of Vinifera as resulted in a lessening of the clonal diversity of Vinifera. But, still, there is an amazing
genetic diversity in Vinifera, an order of magnitude greater of that in humans. Jeez...we need to quite inbreeding so much.
3. That how so many varieties of vinifera are only one step removed from each other.
4. That Viognier and Syrah are siblings. Yea!!!
5. That both archealogical evidence and their DNA evidence strongly support that domestication of vinifera occurred in the Caucasus
between the Caspian and Black seas. I, of course, followed those developments from the very start.
6. That Pinot shows the greatest genetic diversity of any of the varieties. Jeez...no wonder Calif Pinot doesn't taste like RedBurgundy.
7. That vinifera is subject to intense pathogen pressures, despite its genetic diversity, and that they suggest that propagation of mutations
might lead to reduction of chemical usage to resist these pressures. No telling what the wines'll taste like.
8. And still miffed that Syrah is not the center of the Universe.

Interesting article. Thanks for sharing it, Walt.
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And It Even Makes the NYTimes...

Postby TomHill » Mon Jan 24, 2011 10:08 pm

The article just hit the NYTimes:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/25/science/25wine.html?hpw

Actually, it's a pretty good summary of the article. Worth reading. It seems to be making the case for GM grapevines to become
more common. We'll see how that flies w/ the fussy frogs across the pond.
For some reason, the article's author doesn't share my indignation over Syrah not being the center of the universe!!!

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Re: And It Even Makes the NYTimes...

Postby Mark Lipton » Tue Jan 25, 2011 1:55 pm

TomHill wrote:The article just hit the NYTimes:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/25/science/25wine.html?hpw

Actually, it's a pretty good summary of the article. Worth reading. It seems to be making the case for GM grapevines to become
more common. We'll see how that flies w/ the fussy frogs across the pond.


You beat me to it, Tom. I was just gonna post that link to this thread. Of course, the alternative to GM grapevines is that older technology: hybrids! "Hybrid vigor" is a hoary and venerable concept in evolutionary biology.* Which do you think would more enrage French vignerons: GM Syrah or Chambourcin? :lol:

For some reason, the article's author doesn't share my indignation over Syrah not being the center of the universe!!!


Of course not! Everybody knows that Peloursin is the center, silly wabbit! :D

Mark Lipton

* What has become of Paul B, anyhoo?
Last edited by Mark Lipton on Tue Jan 25, 2011 1:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: OhOhOhOh... Let's Talk About Sex...

Postby wnissen » Tue Jan 25, 2011 1:56 pm

TomHill wrote:4. That Viognier and Syrah are siblings. Yea!!!

OK, I missed that. So co-fermentation in the Cote Rôtie is incest?

6. That Pinot shows the greatest genetic diversity of any of the varieties. Jeez...no wonder Calif Pinot doesn't taste like RedBurgundy.

It's always satisfying to have our prejudices confirmed by Science. The only variety I can think of that has as many mutant sub-varieties is muscat.

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Re: And It Even Makes the NYTimes...

Postby Peter May » Tue Jan 25, 2011 2:17 pm

TomHill wrote:. It seems to be making the case for GM grapevines to become more common. We'll see how that flies w/ the fussy frogs across the pond.


Or the fussy Yanks or Brits or whatever who appear to want to drink from the same pool of classic varieties.... Where are the consumers who are asking for new varieties?

It takes a very very long time for a new grape variety to get acceptance and since French appellation laws specify which varieties may be grown in most areas a new variety, GM or not, would have no impact on most of France.
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Re: And It Even Makes the NYTimes...

Postby Peter May » Tue Jan 25, 2011 2:19 pm

Mark Lipton wrote: Which do you think would more enrage French vignerons: GM Syrah or Chambourcin? :lol:



I don't understand how it is possible to get a GM Syrah or Chambourcin.
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Re: And It Even Makes the NYTimes...

Postby TomHill » Tue Jan 25, 2011 4:40 pm

Peter May wrote:
TomHill wrote:. It seems to be making the case for GM grapevines to become more common. We'll see how that flies w/ the fussy frogs across the pond.


Or the fussy Yanks or Brits or whatever who appear to want to drink from the same pool of classic varieties.... Where are the consumers who are asking for new varieties?

It takes a very very long time for a new grape variety to get acceptance and since French appellation laws specify which varieties may be grown in most areas a new variety, GM or not, would have no impact on most of France.


Peter,
I don't think the consumers are asking for new varieties. But some consumers are demanding that there be reduced usage of pesticides/fungacides/mildewcides in the vnyd out
of environmental consciousness. If you can develop a variety that can take the usage of copper sulfate down to zero...then you have something. Whether it's a variety that consumers will
accept the aromas and flavors...that's another question.
That's one of the reasons I like to try so many different/unknown varietials...for the new experiences they entail. It's a limitless world out there.
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Re: NEWS: Big news! Most grapes are kissing cousins!

Postby Paul Winalski » Wed Jan 26, 2011 11:27 am

A solution to Pierce's Disease is probably the most pressing viticultural need at the moment.

-Paul W.
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Re: NEWS: Big news! Most grapes are kissing cousins!

Postby Howie Hart » Wed Jan 26, 2011 12:18 pm

Paul Winalski wrote:A solution to Pierce's Disease is probably the most pressing viticultural need at the moment.
I believe the disease is limited to Mexico, South America, the Southern US and parts of California. I think the winters are too cold for the host parasite in the Midwest and Northeast. Here is an interesting link about the new hybrids being developed: http://www.winespectator.com/webfeature/show/id/Grape-Researcher-Breeds-Vines-Resistant-to-Pierces-Disease_3509
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