Assessment of the Lebanese grapevine germplasm reveals a substantial diversity and a high potential for selection
1 Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, The Lebanese University, Dekwane, Beirut, Lebanon
2 Château St Thomas, Kab-Elias, Bekaa, Lebanon
3 Château Kefraya, Kefraya, West Bekaa, Lebanon
Lebanon is illustrious for the cultivation of grapevine since the old antiquity. Grapevine is well adapted to the agroclimatic conditions of the country which makes it one of the major element of the Lebanese agriculture. Nevertheless germplasm assessment has attributed limited interest to grapevine while genetic resources have not been exploited before despite their potential in adaptation to environmental changes. In this study we assess the diversity of traditional grapevine accessions growing in different production areas in Lebanon. A total of 35 accessions belonging to 22 vernacular names were evaluated using 33 leaf and fruit traits previously developed by OIV. An important variability was revealed among the accessions studied based on grape and grain characteristics. The most discriminant traits were grape and grain weight, dimensions, form, and skin color; leaf size, form, color, lobes number, depth of petiole sinus. Hierarchical clustering analysis showed five main clusters, each regrouping accessions of different named varieties and different agro-climatic areas. An intra-varietal variability is also suspected. Although preliminary, our results indicate a potential of genetic diversity within the Lebanese grape germplasm that should be further investigated in order to understand their performance and to evaluate them in selection programs.
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences 2016
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).