Original Paper

Theoretical and Applied Genetics

, Volume 126, Issue 11, pp 2763-2776

First online:

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

Candidate loci for phenology and fruitfulness contributing to the phenotypic variability observed in grapevine

  • Lukasz GrzeskowiakAffiliated withCentre for Research and Innovation, Fondazione Edmund Mach (FEM) Email author 
  • , Laura CostantiniAffiliated withCentre for Research and Innovation, Fondazione Edmund Mach (FEM)
  • , Silvia LorenziAffiliated withCentre for Research and Innovation, Fondazione Edmund Mach (FEM)
  • , M. Stella GrandoAffiliated withCentre for Research and Innovation, Fondazione Edmund Mach (FEM)


Key message

In this study, we identified several genes, which potentially contribute to phenological variation in the grapevine. This may help to maintain consistent yield and suitability of particular varieties in future climatic conditions.


The timing of major developmental events in fruit crops differs with cultivar, weather conditions and ecological site. This plasticity results also in diverse levels of fruitfulness. Identifying the genetic factors responsible for phenology and fertility variation may help to improve these traits to better match future climates. Two Vitis vinifera populations, an F1 progeny of Syrah × Pinot Noir and a phenological core collection composed of 163 cultivars, were evaluated for phenology and fertility subtraits during three to six growing seasons in the same geographical location. The phenotypic variability in the core collection mostly overlapped with that observed in the F1 progeny and several accessions had exceeding values of phenological response. The progeny population was used together with SSR and SNP markers to map quantitative trait loci (QTLs). This allowed us to detect nine QTLs related to budburst, flowering beginning, the onset of ripening (véraison) and total fertility, explaining from 8 to 44 % of phenotypic variation. A genomic region on chromosome 15 was associated with budburst and véraison and two QTLs for fruitfulness were located on chromosomes 3 and 18. Several genes potentially affecting fertility and the timing of fruit development were proposed, based on their position and putative function. Allelic variation at these candidate loci may be explored by sampling accessions from the core collection.