Evaluation of diversity among Argentine grapevine (Vitis vinifera L.) varieties using morphological data and AFLP markers
Half of the Argentine grapevine growing area is cultivated with local varieties generically called "Criollas". These materials differ in morphology, physiology and enological aptitudes from traditional European varieties. To discriminate among them, we used morphological markers to evaluate the genetic diversity and phenetic relatedness of 9 Criollas, 6 European and 1 American varieties and compared with AFLP markers. Three AFLP primer combinations generated a total of 111 scorable fragments. Dendrograms obtained with morphologic and AFLP markers agreed in clustering the "Criollas" separately from the European and American varieties assayed, except for Muscat d Alexandrie and Tempranillo which clustered with Criollas in the case of AFLP. Comparison of UPGMA dendrograms of morphological and AFLP markers using the Mantel test indicated a not significant correlation of r = 0.33. Nevertheless, AFLP and selected morphological characters appear as useful and complementary techniques for grapevine identification and for evaluation of genetic diversity. Among the "Criollas", AFLP similarities ranged from 76 to 98% (Dice coefficient), indicating an important source of genetic diversity that can be exploited in future breeding programs. To our knowledge, this is the first report using AFLP markers to assess genetic variability on these materials.