In grapevine (Vitis vinifera L.), accumulation and fixing of somatic mutations represent frequent events, allowing growers to select and propagate new cultivars. Among spontaneous somatic mutations occurred in grapevine, those affecting the berry colour locus are the most documented.
As one of the founder varieties and cultivated worldwide, Pinot had several chances to undergo somatic mutations. Most of these affected the ancestral black berry colour, and gave rise to cultivars such as in Pinot blanc and Pinot gris. The most established evolutionary model is that Pinot blanc arose from Pinot gris which arose from Pinot noir, even if the relationship between Pinot blanc and Pinot gris has not yet been fully explored. Pinot gris is reported to be a periclinal chimera of Pinot noir, but also in this case the exact nature of the genetic modification remains to be determined.
This study has questioned this evolutionary model. The findings obtained represent a breakthrough towards the full understanding of the mechanisms behind the formation of white, grey, red, and pink grape cultivars, the overall phenotype of which determines a specific enological aptitude.
The paper reproduced in this video-seminar was presented at the 2013 International SIVE Awards “Research for Development” (8th edition of Enoforum; 7-9 maggio 2013, Arezzo, Italy)
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