Sun. Jun 13th, 2021

One of the rare genetic exchanges in grapes that happened twice in the last 6 million years has led to the production of the tastiest table grapes and wines. The domestication of the grapevines started nearly 8000 years ago, and breeders are trying different genetic combinations to enhance the grapevines.

Breeders nowadays are putting efforts into producing grapevines that are better in taste along with being disease resistant. Almost breeders spend 2 to 4 years understanding the genetic makeup of the grapes and the process to get a perfect flower.

Both males and females are different for a grape plant. The males possess a stamen for the pollen but lack fruit, whereas the females have fruits and pollen, but the pollen is sterile.

Hence, they being hermaphrodite, they are used for breeding purposes as well as for research purposes. The fruits produced through these techniques are of better taste.

Recently a paper has been published with the title of “Multiple Independent Recombinations Led to Hermaphroditism in Grapevine.” This paper was written after outstanding research on grapevines done by the scientists of Cornell University and the scientists of the University of California. These scientists worked together and found the genetic markers to determine the sex of the flowers.

One of the authors said that this genetic makeup reveals a lot about the organs of the flower. He also noted that this study is significant in breeding and the genetic makeup precisely indicating the sex of the flower in a particular vine.

Generally, the wild type of grapes have different male and female flowers. Still, those grapevines cultivated these days are primarily hermaphrodite, i.e., male and female flowers are in the same plant.

Noting about the genetic makeup of male and female flowers will definitely help the breeders to breed faster with enhanced taste and keep the vines disease-free. Moreover, it will lower the cost of breeding as well.

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