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grape vine seeds

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This article was co-authored by Andrew Carberry, MPH. Andrew Carberry has been working in food systems since 2008. He has a Masters in Public Health Nutrition and Public Health Planning and Administration from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville.

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Grape vine seeds

Looking up many of the University Agriculture Extension Services, I can only find that grapes are propagated by various means, except by seed, for example, from Agricultural Extension Service, The University of Tennessee article Grape Growing in Tennessee (PB 1475):

Note: vine eye cuttings with their single bud only do not take root as easily as the larger 3-4 bud cuttings.

The permaculture community is quite fond of Concord grapes almost as much as they are of swales and herb spirals, and there are so many discussions centred around growing this grape variety from seed.

Mythbusting Concord Grape Propagation

Seeded grapes do contain viable seeds, and planted in autumn will produce grape vine seedlings in spring. They need to be planted early because they require cold stratification, exposure to cold temperatures which will cause the seed to break out of dormancy.

This should hopefully settle the matter and clear up a lot of the misinformation on the subject.

Seed Grown Grapes?

So let’s look at the history of the Concord grape to get the facts straight!

Why? Plants need to produce genetic variation and diversity in their offspring to ensure survival of future generations. There are exceptions, some plants and trees will grow ‘true to seed’, producing exactly the same fruit or berries as the parent plant, and therefore can be grown from seed, which we’ve discussed in the previous article – The Difference Between Seedling, Grafted and Cutting Grown Fruit Trees.

Grape vine seeds

B) Pollination of Nebbiolo/Trebbiano Toscano with Corinto Nero pollen: Berry set was poor when Nebbiolo was cross-pollinated with Corinto Nero pollen compared with fruit set rate of the self-pollinated inflorescences of Nebbiolo. Similar results were obtained when Trebbiano Toscano was cross-pollinated with Corinto Nero pollen. Almost all seeds obtained from Nebbiolo and Trebbiano Toscano cross-pollination with Corinto Nero pollen did not germinate (Table 4).

In addition, for Sangiovese and its seedless variant Corinto Nero, pistils from different inflorescences or from a single inflorescence with flowers at different phenological stages were collected on the same day (19/06/2019). Afterwards, four intermediate stages between flowering (stage 1) and berries pepper-corn size (stage 6) were sampled. For each genotype, one pistil per stage was selected for successive dissection, extraction and examination at the stereomicroscope of the ovules/seed traces. Their length and width were measured using the software cited above.

Genes with validated SNPs between Sangiovese and Corinto Nero

In 2019, a pool of berries from different parts of different bunches was randomly collected at veraison for each genotype, except for Chasselas Rose, Pedro Ximenez and Corinto Bianco. Ten berries per size category (small and large, when available) per genotype were randomly chosen for inspection at the stereomicroscope. Traces (of ovules or seeds) and well-developed seeds were extracted from each berry and separately counted. The potential vitality of the well-developed seeds was tested by a floatation test in water: the sinking seeds were considered as likely viable. Traces and seeds were successively dissected for observation of their structures. A digital camera (AxioCam ERc 5 s, ZEISS) was attached to the stereomicroscope (Stemi 2000-CS, ZEISS) and simultaneously connected to a computer. AxioVision Rel. 4.8 software (ZEISS) was used to observe the samples in “live” mode and to get digital images. The size range of the analyzed berries, as well as the length and width of traces and seeds, were digitally measured from the pictures.

Self- vs open-pollination: Seed and fruit set were evaluated in self- and open-pollination conditions (SP and OP, respectively) in most seeded/seedless pairs. The only exceptions were Termarina Rosa, Dastatchine and Corinto Bianco due to too few or dried inflorescences in 2018. For the self-pollination group, inflorescences were enclosed within paper bags before anthesis to avoid cross-pollination and were allowed to bloom and self-pollinate. One week after berry set, the covered clusters were exposed to full sun throughout fruit development and maturation (the same holds for B and C).

Evaluation of sanitary status

A) Through VCF filtering, it was required that the alternative base was supported by at least 3 reads and the frequency of the alternative alleles was ≥0.75 calculated on the total number of read pairs aligned on the region;