Progress in mass and clonal selection of grapevine varieties in Portugal

  • A. Martins
  • L. C. Carneiro
  • R. Castro
Keywords: clone, selection, variety of vine, Portugal, yield, analysis, computer simulation, genetics


Since 1978 we have developed methods for mass and clonal selection of grapevine well adapted to the conditions of Portuguese viticulture. The most remarkable innovation of this methodology is the establishment of large experimental populations of clones in which good estimates of yield heritability and genetic gain can be obtained.
The aim of the present paper is to clarify some methodological aspects such as (1) the ideal composition and structure of the experimental populations of clones and (2) the application of this methodology to a large number of Portuguese varieties, in order to maximize the rate of yield improvement. At present we can point out the following results:
  1. According to experimental data and computer simulation; we may conclude that the optimal number of clones to be included in each population is about 200-300, each one represented by 4 vines in 5 replications. By this way we can usually obtain heritability estimates between 30 and 80% and genetic gain values higher than 15%.
  2. Until now, we have succeeded in applying this methodology to 30 of the most important Portuguese varieties, which represent more than 80% of all varieties normally propagated in the country.
Section 6: Clonal selection