Grapevine throughout the History of Anatolia
Anatolian peninsula has been the cradle of not only the ancient civilizations but also many agriculturally important crops. It has long been linked with the origins of viticulture and wine-making. Shrines, seeds, wine cups and reliefs have been discovered in different regions of the country. One of its accepted origins, Anatolia has not only the cultivated grapevine (Vitis vinifera L.) which has presented itself with numerous cultivars and types but also the wild grapevine (Vitis sylvestris). This paper is on the history of grapevine starting from prehistoric times to the current with classical and later on molecular studies, based on DNA such as RAPD, AFLP and SSR, on cultivar identification and potential in Anatolia.
July 13, 2010; Accepted: September 10, 2010;
Published: November 27, 2010
Geographically, Turkey forms a natural bridge between the old world continents of Asia, Africa and Europe. The Anatolian peninsula is the westernmost point of Asia, divided from Europe by the Bosphorus and Dardanelles straits. It covers an area of 814,578 square kilometers or 314,510 square miles.
Turkey is under the influence of three different climates, namely, Mediterranean,
continental and oceanic. Most of Turkey is under the Mediterranean influence.
The Central Anatolian Plateau and the more eastern mountainous parts enjoy continental
climate. Oceanic climate occurs only in an enclave in the northeastern part
around the Rize province (Akman and Ketenoglu, 1986; Baser,
2002). Turkey is situated at the junction of three important phytogeographic
regions, namely Mediterranean, Irano-Turanian and Euro-Siberian. The Black Seas
coastal areas are in the Euro-Siberian region. Areas surrounding the Mediterranean,
Aegean and Marmara Seas enjoy the characteristics of the Mediterranean regions
and finally, the large part of Turkey stretching from the Central Anatolian
Plateau to the borders with Iran and Iraq to the east and southeast lies in
the Irano-Turanian region. Endemic species are largely found in the Mediterranean
and Irano-Turanian regions. The Anatolian flora, especially in the more arid
areas, is said to be in an active state of diversification (Davis,
Near-East, one of the origin centers of plant, contains parts of Iran, Iraq,
Turkey, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Israel where the early development of food
production took place (Miller, 2006). Plant cultivation
in the Near-East started about 10,000 Before Present (BP). Two thousand years
later, by 7,000 BC, most of the crop plants that the Near-East has contributed
to food production had been brought into cultivation. At about 7000 BC village
farming had become firmly established and agriculture had spread beyond its
Near Eastern nuclear area (Van Zeist, 1992).
Anatolia has long been linked with the origins of viticulture and wine-making,
especially in its eastern region to which the ancient authors commonly ascribe
its origins (Gorny, 1996).
Earliest traces of viticulture have been recovered in the settlements dated
back to Early Bronze Age, east of the Mediterranean basin, among which Troy
and Kumtepe (Canakkale) (Rhiel, 1999), Yenibademli Hoyük
(Gokceada) and Gre Virike and Kurban Hoyuk (Sanliurfa) (Miller,
1986). Archaeological and historical evidence suggest that primo-domestication
of grapevine occurred in the near-East (This et al.,
2006). Refai (2002) reported that grapes, together
with olive and fig, were more commonly used throughout the Bronze Age in the
Mediterranean. Lloyd and Mellaart (1958) discovered
grape pips in a shrine in western Turkey dating from the Early Bronze Age. A
wine shop with storage jars and drinking cups from the Late Bronze age were
also found (Macqueen, 1986). Seeds of domesticated grapes
were also found in Turkey and Georgia dated from approximately 8000 years ago
(Marinval, 1997). Donmez (2005)
found very small quantities of grape seeds in Gokçeada, Çanakkale.
The cultivation of vines for the making of wine originated some time before
4000 BC and possibly as early as 6000 BC in the mountainous region between the
Black Sea and the Caspian Sea, bordering Turkey, Syria, Iraq, Iran and Georgia
(Billiard, 1913; Lutz, 1922; Levadoux,
1956; Negrul, 1960; Younger, 1966;
Ramishvili, 1983; Hyams, 1987;
Johnson, 1989). This probable hearth of viticulture laid
to the north of great plains of the Tigris and Euphrates, which formed the core
of the Sumerian, Akkadian, Assyrian and Babylonian empires and also to the east
of the heartland of the Hittite empire in what is now Turkey (Unwin,
1996). Viticulture was apparently quite well established in Anatolia by
1000 BC, supported by a relief at Ivriz, near Tarsus, showing a god adorned
with a vine (Billiard, 1913) and by a pillar from Kahramanmaras
that illustrates a god holding a bunch of grapes in one hand (Barnett,
1980). Schlee (1995) reported that chemical analysis
of remnants in a cuvette found in Titris Höyük (Sanliurfa) revealed
tartaric acid, indicating the possibility of using the cuvette for crushing
grapes. Urartians (600-99 BC) who mainly situated around Van region mentioned
in their written texts the viticulture and the wine making (Belli,
2006). Few grape seeds were excavated in Van, a sign of Urartian plant cultivation
of grapevine (Donmez and Belli, 2007).
Wild grapevine (Vitis vinifera ssp. sylvestris Gmelin) has found
itself a place from Portugal to Turkmenistan and from Rhine riversides to northern
forests of Tunisia (Levadoux, 1956; Arnold
et al., 1998; McGovern, 2004). Schumann
(1977) and Agaoglu and Celik (1987) reported the
existence of wild grapevine in many places of Anatolia. The oldest wild grape
(Vitis sylvestris Gmelin.) seeds were excavated in Turkey at Nevali Çori,
near Urfa on the slope of Euphrates side valley 8400 years ago (Hauptmann,
1997; Pasternak, 1998). Analyses of chlorotype diversity
in sylvestris populations showed central Mediterranean and eastern populations
had higher diversity values than western populations (Arroyo-Garcia
et al., 2006), in agreement with Negrul in 1938, suggesting that
the Anatolian peninsula and Transcaucasia regions are the diversity center
of Vitis vinifera, based on phenotypic variation.
Cultivated grapevines are thought to have been domesticated from wild populations
of Vitis vinifera ssp. sylvestris (Levadoux, 1956).
Vitis vinifera L. is the only species of the genus Vitis indigenous to
Eurasia and is suggested to have first appeared 65 million years ago (de
Saporta, 1879). Zohary and Hopf (2000) stated that
the domestication process involved the selection of hermaphrodite genotypes
that produced larger and sweeter fruits of attractive colors and the development
of techniques for their vegetative propagation. Analysis of variation in seed
morphology aimed by Terral et al. (2010) to provide
criteria for the discrimination between wild grapes and modern cultivars and
to understand changes in functional traits in relation to the domestication
process. The position of Henab (Turkey) and Muscat à
Petits Grains (Greece) group within a cluster consisting of the Cabernet
franc, Merlot and Pinot groups could suggest relationship
between European and Eastern varieties. Authors speculated that this might reflect
the scale of trade, which spread grapevine by vegetative propagation through
the Mediterranean basin.
Earlier works on investigation of grapevine germplasm diversity in Anatolia
have involved ampelographic studies mostly done by the researchers at the universities.
First scientific ampelographic study was performed on grape cultivars grown
in Ankara by Oraman (1937). Oraman
and Aksoy (1945), Fidan et al. (1972), Marasali
(1986) and Demir (1987) were the other scientists
who investigated ampelographic features of grapes in the same area. Anameric
(1964) and Odabas (1984) profiled grape cultivars
grown in Canakkale and Igdir, respectively. Celik (1989)
and Celik (1990) investigated ampelographic characteristics
of some grape cultivars grown in Amasya and Kastamonu, respectively. Other studies
were as follows; in Tokat (Kara, 1990), Gevas, Van (Kelen
and Tekintas, 1991), Southeastern Anatolia, mainly Urfa (Gursoz,
1993) Delice, Kirikkale (Dursun, 1994), Beypazari-Gudul,
Ankara (Gemalmaz, 1994), Kalecik, Ankara (Aktepe,
1994), Diyarbakir and Mardin (Kaplan, 1993), Beysehir,
Konya (Kara and Beyoglu, 1995), Gaziantep, Sanliurfa,
Adiyaman and Kahramanmaras (Atli and Arpaci, 1995),
Incesu, Kayseri (Turkkan and Agaoglu, 1999), Safranbolu,
Karabuk (Kucukhaskul, 1996), Sungurlu, Corum (Diri,
1996), Meram, Konya (Akkurt, 1998), Harran plain,
Urfa (Dilli, 1997), Isparta (Ecevit
and Kelen, 1999), Ordu (Cangi, 1999), Malatya (Unal,
2000), Silifke, Mersin (Sanliturk, 2000), Merzifon,
Amasya (Kose et al., 2004), Diyarbakir and Mardin
(Kaplan and Fidan, 2005), Pervari, Siirt (Guler,
2007), Aegean region (Kader and Dilli, 2009) and
Afyon (Akdeniz and Altindisli, 2009). There were also
some studies on the genetic diversity of Isabella grape cultivar (Vitis labrusca
L.). Melek and Celik (2005) collected 26 accessions of
Isabella cultivar from Sinop and surrounding towns and profiled their ampelographic
characteristics and found that at least 11 accessions were different from each
other. Celik et al. (2009) determined 13 Isabella
genotypes collected from central Samsun city and Çarsamba. Fox grapes
(Vitis labrusca L.) grown in Artvin and Rize provinces were ampelografically
profiled by Celik et al. (2008).
Isoenzyme studies were also used to distinguish grapevine cultivars grown in
Turkey (Agaoglu et al., 1995, 1998,
1999; Soylemezoglu et al.,
1998, 2001; Turkben et al.,
2002) with differing results in terms of the enzyme systems that help distinguishing
After the development of Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) by Kary B. Mullis in 1983, molecular markers have helped in distinguishing grape cultivars and accessions on DNA level. Studies involving DNA markers, such as RAPD, AFLP and microsatellites have been frequently used for genetic identification of grape cultivars indigenous to Anatolia.
Seventeen grape cultivars (Amasya, Besni, Bogazkere, Bozcaada Çavusu,
Emir, Hafizali, Hasandede, Hönüsü, Kadin parmagi, Kozak beyazi,
Kozak siyahi, Müsküle, Narince, Öküzgözü, Papaz
karasi, Razaki, Tahannebi) grown in different parts of Turkey were identified
with RAPD markers (Ergul et al., 2002). The cultivars
were separated into 4 groups on the basis of genetic variability and regional
There are several varietal groups of grapevine, such as Misket, Dimrit, Gemre,
Parmak, Büzgülü and Amasya, widely cultivated all over Turkey.
Ergul et al. (2004) studied five genotypes of
Amasya gathered from Çanakkale, Sakarya, Denizli, Tokat and
Kocaeli for genetic identification using AFLP technique. According to the results,
all Amasya genotypes were different from each other. Aras
et al. (2005) used 14 accessions of Büzgülü
varietal group from Antalya, Kütahya, Konya, Denizli, Eskisehir, Mugla
and Ankara to determine genetic similarity with RAPD and they found that the
genotypes had high level of genetic similarities. Soylemezoglu
et al. (2005) genetically identified 13 Iskenderiye Misketi
accessions collected from Edirne, Tekirdag, Denizli, Manisa, Mugla and Çanakkale
using AFLP markers. Six genotypes were found closely related to Muscat
of Alexandria, implying that these genotypes might have played some role
in the development of this cultivar. Selli et al.
(2007) analyzed genetic diversity within Dimrit and Gemre
cultivar groups at eight microsatellite loci. Gemre accessions (9)
were collected from the regions of central Anatolia, Aegean and Thrace, while
Dimrit group (22) were from Mediterranean, central Anatolia and
Aegean regions. The groups made two distinct groups with homonymous and synonymous
cases within each group. Microsatellites were used to identify 22 accessions
of grapevine cultivar Dimrit, collected from Mersin, Konya, Denizli,
Mugla, Burdur, Isparta and Kirsehir (Boz et al., 2009).
They found one synonymy and four homonymies. Geographical distribution and genetic
relationship did not show any significant correlation, an indication of high
genetic diversity in this varietal group.
Ergul et al. (2006) studied the AFLP-based genetic
relations of the grapevine accession of two important Anatolian varietal groups,
Misket and Parmak. Misket accessions (10)
were collected from Thrace and Aegean regions, while Parmak accessions
(15) were gathered from the regions of Mediterranean, Thrace, central Anatolia,
southeastern Anatolia and western Black Sea. Results showed that both groups
contained a number of homonymy and synonymy. Six of the Anatolian Misket
genotypes were very similar to Muscat of Alexandria.
Karaagac (2006) genetically characterized a total of
48 grape cultivars (Vitis vinifera L.) consisting of 35 local grape cultivars
from Gaziantep and 11 cultivars from Tekirdag Viticulture Research Institute
in National Germplasm Repository Vineyard with 2 reference cultivars were genetically
characterized using 17 SSR markers. Two cases of synonymy were revealed for
the genotypes (Dusuzu and Dimiski, Rumi from Gaziantep and Rumi from Tekirdag)
and 5 cases of homonymy were observed. Kis üzümü and Sergi karasi,
Sari Kabarcik and Serpenekiran from Gaziantep showed close genetic relationship.
Therefore, the researcher reported that they may be regarded as the same cultivar.
Boz et al. (2007) used microsatellites to genotype
113 grape accessions gathered from the Marmara Region and 65 from SE Anatolia.
No synonymy cases were detected in the regions. However, 14 and 5 cases of homonymy
were observed from Marmara and SE Anatolia regions, respectively. No synonymy
showed that these regions have very rich diverse genetic background.
Karatas et al. (2007) fingerprinted using SSR
16 grapevine cultivars that had the same name in Urfa and Gaziantep (Çilores,
Çilorut, Hönüsü, Dimiski, Kabarcik, Külahi, Hatunparmagi,
Sergi karasi, Kizlartahtasi, Azezi, Yediveren, Serpenekiran, Kizilbanki, Gülgülü,
Horozkarasi and Muhammediye). The results showed a large degree of genetic variability
among most of the homonymous cultivars.
Korkmaz (2007) compared five grape accessions collected
from Urla, Izmir to 93 grapevine accessions which included 13 Europe accessions
with SSR and AFLP markers. She found that two of the Urla accessions were completely
different from the other accessions.
Thirty-five autochthonous grapevine cultivars growing in Çoruh Valley
in NE Anatolia were investigated for their genetic relation using RAPD (Ercisli
et al., 2008). Cluster analysis showed that genotypes present in
the valley are very distinguishable.
Dilli (2008) studied on a total of 31 grape cultivars
(Vitis vinifera L.) consisting of 5 types Sultani Çekirdeksiz,
9 clones of Pembe Gemre, Osmanca and Ipek cultivars selected by Manisa Viticulture
Research Institute and 15 local grape varieties plus 2 reference cultivars of
economic importance in the Aegean Region to genetically characterize and establish
genetic relationship using SSR. One case of homonymy was revealed for the genotypes
of Foça Karasi collected from Aydin, Çanakkale, Izmir (Mordogan)
and Dumanli Gemre variety.
Hizarci (2010) carried out a molecular identification
with SSR study on 25 grapevine cultivars grown at Yusufeli district of Artvin
province. The cultivars Razaki and Kirmizi Istanbul were found to be the closest
with 92% similarity ratio. The lowest similarity ratio was observed between
Kütük-Yag, Kokulu-Yag Kibris-Cabernet Sauvignon and Kiskinbur-Cabernet
Sauvignon with 17% similarity ratio.
Some of the 21 local genotypes collected from central, Ercis and Gevas towns
of Van province, six standard cultivars and 3 American grape rootstocks were
investigated molecularly by RAPD method and similarity and relations among them
were determined (Sensoy, 2008). Standard cultivars, Ercis
and Gevas genotypes were generally discriminated in different groups. Moreover,
based on the genetic variation among the genotypes, the variation in Gevas and
Ercis genotypes were higher than that of standard cultivars.
Karatas and Agaoglu (2008) estimated genetic relationships
among 46 grape cultivars of Gaziantep province using RAPD. There found to be
high genetic variation among the cultivars in the region. In general no relationship
was encountered between the genetic similarity and previous ampelographic analyses
in the cultivars.
Genetic relationships between grape accessions grown in Iskilip, Çorum
were investigated with RAPD (Agaoglu et al., 2009).
The names of the accessions were Sapiuzun, Iskilip karasi, Misket, Sungurlu
beyazi, Iskilip misketi, Oluklu üzüm, Sübe üzümü,
Mahallikara, Beyazüzüm, Okçu, Sapli üzüm, Kokulu,
Erkencisübe and Tilkikuyrugu. Results indicated that similarity index between
Iskilip and Çorum local grape cultivars was high. Although genetic similarity
index of cultivars was close to each other, some similar named cultivars showing
similar morphological characteristics were grouped separately on the dendogram
constructed using similarity values.
Genetic analyses of 59 grape cultivars of eastern Mediterranean region were
performed using SSR (Tangolar et al., 2009).
Homonymy (8 cases) and synonymy (5 cases) were determined. The control cultivars
Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon were distantly related.
Sabir et al. (2009) studied ampelographic and
molecular (ISSR) characterization of 29 indigenous grape cultivars grown at
the Research and Implementation area of Çukurova University, Adana.
VARIETY GERMPLASM COLLECTIONS
Vitis International Variety Catalogue, developed by Julius Kühn-Institut-Federal
Research Centre for Cultivated Plants, stationed in Geilweilerhof, Germany,
contains 19.539 registered cultivars from all around the world (http://www.vivc.de).
Turkey has contributed to this catalogue with 808 cultivars, which comprises
of 4.14% of the total cultivars. Turkey is preceded with France, Italy, United
States of America and Germany in terms of the number of cultivars contributed
to the catalogue.
Efforts to establish a cultivar germplasm collection in Turkey started in 1965 at the Viticulture Research Institute in Tekirdag with approximately 1200 cultivars collected from all regions of Turkey. Over time, there have been some genotypes added or, regrettably, lost to the collection. In 2006, one comprehensive research project has been launched with the financial support of TUBITAK by the Biotechnology Institute of Ankara University in cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs to genetically identify all grapevine accessions in the National Grapevine Germplasm Collection at the Viticulture Research Institute, Tekirdag, Turkey. The project is completed, in which a total of 1150 cultivars were screened with 21 microsatellites and it was found that 850 cultivars were identified as unique genotypes.
One other germplasm collection was started at the grounds of Viticultural Research
Institute of Manisa in 2004 and has now around 174 local grape cultivars grown
mainly in Aegean region of Turkey (Saglam et al.,
Anatolia has a long history in cultivation of many agriculturally important crops. Grape, especially wine, has played an especially significant role throughout its history. Studies presented here in this paper are only representative of a great genetic potential where maybe most of the country is still uninvestigated. Ampelographic studies, mostly involving molecular markers, have been underway on a either big or small scale throughout the country by the universities or state agricultural offices which would almost certainly increase the number of the grapevine cultivars and types grown.
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