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Grapes: Origins and Development

Murphy, CA; (2014) Grapes: Origins and Development. In: Smith, C, (ed.) Encyclopedia of Global Archaeology. (pp. 3107-3111). Springer New York: New York, NY, USA. Green open access

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It is difficult to discern the true wild ancestor of cultivated grape (Vitis vinifera L.) because the Mediterranean Basin has a wide variety of wild forms. These include escapees and seed-propagated weedy types growing in natural habitat, occurring mainly in disturbed surroundings and cultivated clones of the grapevine (Zohary & Hopf 2001: 152). Recent genetic studies have proven that cultivated grapevines growing in different regions have genetic diversity and heterozygosity which can only have been established through an influx of genes from nearby wild V. sylvestris populations (Imazio et al. 2006: 1009). Vitis sylvestris C. C. Gmelin is now considered to be the wild race of the cultivated grape and is indigenous to southern Europe, the Near East, and the southern Caspian belt (Zohary & Hopf 2001: 152). Vitis vinifera (L.) (grape) is the sole Mediterranean representative of the genus Vitis (Zohary & Hopf 2001: 155). The plants are monosexual with the female flowers only ripening into grapes. Vitis vinifera is hermaphroditic and occasionally, with the escape of cultivated vines into the wild, reverts back to Vitis sylvestris (wild variety) in all characteristics except for being a hermaphrodite, and the seeds of these escapees remain much closer to those of the cultivated form. In terms of elevation, the plant can establish itself at a height of 400 m above sea level and is rarely found as high as 800 m. The cultivated Vitis vinifera has a more restricted distribution than its wild variety (Renfrew 1973: 125; Olmo 1995).

Type: Book chapter
Title: Grapes: Origins and Development
ISBN-13: 9781441904263
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4419-0465-2_2178
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-0465-2_2178
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Institute of Archaeology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Institute of Archaeology > Institute of Archaeology Gordon Square
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1540000
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