“For the last 8,000 years, the wine grape has had very little sex.” Aw … poor little guy.
Poor little us, actually, because geneticists are saying that the lack of promiscuity in the hallowed wine grape’s history may impact the fruit’s health in generations to come—and damage our ability to make to have a nice glass of wine over dinner.
The geneticist in question is Dr. Sean Myles from Cornell University, who recently scienced-out the key to detecting the genetic variation found in grapes. Scientists used to think that there were tons of grape families all interbreeding together as nature intended, but Dr. Myles discovered that 75 percent of the grape varieties he tested in Cornell’s extensive agricultural collection were actually closely related—like parent and child or brother and sister. So, in fact, the interconnectedness of the grape gene indicates that very little breeding has happened since the vine was first domesticated.
“Previously, people thought there were several different families of grape,” Dr. Myles said. “Now we’ve found that all those families are interconnected and in essence there’s just one large family.” Ewwww. Grape, you little sicko, you know that’s illegal, right?