The Portuguese grapevine cultivar 'Amaral': synonymies, homonymies and misnames
Within Western Europe, Portugal is the country with highest diversity of grapevine cultivars. As the Iberian Peninsula has been considered a domestication centre of grapevines, the interest on Portuguese grapevine cultivars diversity has increased in the last years.
Using twelve SSR markers scattered across twelve grape chromosomes, thirty-three accessions collected on Vinhos Verdes and Lafões Controlled Designations of Origin (DOC) and supposedly of the grapevine cultivar 'Amaral', were analysed. Names of the accessions ranged from 'Amaral' and 'Azal Tinto' to 'Sousão Galego'. Eight different genotypes were detected. The majority of accessions had the genotype attributed to 'Amaral'. However, three accessions were identified as misnaming cases and four genotypes were considered unknown, as no cultivar identification was achieved. Nevertheless, not only the misnamed cultivars, 'Vinhão', 'Melhorio' and 'Touriga Nacional', but also the four unknown genotypes, 'Azal Tinto' (AT2203 and AT2206), 'Amaral-1', 'Amaral-2' and 'Sousão Galego', share at least one allele in each of the 12 SSR loci analysed.
The accessions AT2203 and AT2206 were found as possible offspring of 'Amaral' and 'Folgasão' and the accession 'Amaral-2' is likely result of a cross between 'Amaral' and 'Pedral'.
The high number of synonym names that are attributed to 'Amaral', like 'Azal Tinto', 'Azar', 'Cainho' or 'Susão Galego' and the fact that it probably has parent-offspring relations with many cultivars, suggests that 'Amaral' is an ancient cultivar in the Northwest of the Iberian Peninsula and was a very important cultivar in the past.
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