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Eco-evo-devo implications and archaeobiological perspectives of wild and domesticated grapevines fruits covariating traits

By Vincent Bonhomme, Sandrine Picq, Sarah Ivorra, Allowen Evin, Thierry Pastor, Roberto Bacilieri, Thierry Lacombe, Isabel Figueiral, Jean-Frédéric Terral, Laurent Bouby

Posted 07 Jan 2019
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/513036

The phenotypic changes that occurred during the domestication and diversification of grapevine are well known, particularly changes in seed morphology, but the functional causes and consequences behind these variations are poorly understood. Wild and domesticate grapes differ, among others, in the form of their pips: wild grapes produce roundish pips with short stalks and cultivated varieties have more elongated pips with longer stalks. Such variations of form are of first importance for archaeobotany since the pip form is, most often, the only remaining information in archaeological settings. This study aims to enlight archaeobotanical record and grapevine pip development by better understanding how size and shape (co)variates between pip and berry in both wild and domesticated Vitis vinifera . The covariation of berry size, number of seeds per berry (“piposity”), pip size and pip shape were explored on 49 grapevine accessions sampled among Euro-Mediterranean traditional cultivars and wild grapevines. We show that for wild grapevine, the higher the piposity, the bigger the berry and the more elongated the pip. For both wild and domesticated grapevine, the longer is the pip, the more it has a “domesticated” shape. Consequences for archaeobotanical studies are tested and discussed, and these covariations allowed the inference of berry dimensions from archaeological pips from a Southern France Roman site. This systematic exploration sheds light on new aspects of pip-berry relationship, in both size and shape, on grapevine eco-evo-devo changes during domestication, and invites to explore further the functional ecology of grapevine pip and berry and notably the impact of cultivation practices and human selection on grapevine morphology.

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