Molecular approach to assess the origin of cv. Marzemino
DNA marker analysis was used to determine the varietal identity of Marzemino accessions in public collections and private Italian vineyards; relationships among this varietal group and Vertzami, a traditional Greek cultivar, were also investigated through SSR and AFLP approaches. Molecular results strongly support the relationship among Vertzami cultivars growing in Greece, Marzemino and several Italian accessions selected on the basis of etymological similarity. SSR data exclude a direct descent of Marzemino, or other related Italian varieties, from Vertzami; on the other hand the level of similarity among Vertzami, Marzemino and some related varieties indicates a possible common ancestor. None of the accessions is considered as common ancestor but on the basis of genomic variability in the Marzemino group and of the relationships with the other Italian cultivars a probable Italian ancestor is supposed.
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