The aroma of grapes and derived wines has long been one of the major traits considered in the selection of grapevine varieties through the centuries. In particular, Muscat aromatic grapes have been highly appreciated and widespread since ancient times. Monoterpenes are the key compounds responsible for the Muscat flavor. A major QTL affecting monoterpene level has been found to co-localize with the 1-deoxy-D-xylulose 5-phosphate synthase (VvDXS) gene, encoding for the 1-deoxy-D-xylulose 5-phosphate synthase enzyme involved in the plastidial pathway of terpene biosynthesis. In more detail, a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP 1822) in the coding region of the gene causes a “gain of function” mutation, which is involved in Muscat flavor. In this work, we have developed a digital PCR-based assay to target allelic variations in the VvDXS gene, SNP1822, with the aim to propose a fast and sensitive analytical tool for targeting Muscat-flavored grapevine genotypes. The assay accurately predicts the genetic structure at 1822 SNP, critical for the development of the aroma in the great majority of Muscats. In the case of grapes in which the aromatic component is due to mutations other than SNP 1822 (e.g., Chasselas Musqué and Chardonnay Muscat), further specific assays can be developed.
- Digital PCR