View Full Version : Independent domestication of the grapevine in the Levant

15-07-20, 16:46
See: Aviad Sivan et al

"Genomic Evidences Support an Independent History of Grapevine Domestication in the Levant"

"The ancient grapevines of the Levant have inspired beliefs and rituals in human societies which are still practiced today in religious and traditional ceremonies around the world. Despite their importance, the original Levantine wine-grapes varieties were lost due to cultural turnovers commencing in the 7th century CE, which lead to the collapse of a flourishing winemaking industry in this region. Recently, a comprehensive survey of feral grapevines was conducted in Israel in an attempt to identify local varieties, yet the origin of these domesticated accessions is unclear. Here we study the origin of Levantine grapevines using whole-genome sequence data generated for a diversity panel of wild and cultivated accessions. Comparison between Levantine and Eurasian grapevines indicated that the Levantine varieties represent a distinct lineage from the Eurasian varieties. Demographic models further supported this observation designating that domestication in the Caucasus region predated the emergence of the Levantine samples in circa 5000 years and that authentic descendants of ancient varieties are represented among the Levantine samples. We further explore the pedigree relationship among cultivated grapevines, identify footprints of selective sweeps, and estimate the extent of genetic load in each group. We conclude that the Levantine varieties are distinct from the Eurasian varieties and that resistance to disease and abiotic stress are key traits in the development of both Eurasian and Levantine varieties."