18 Jun 2019
Gallo-Roman grape seeds © Laurent Bouby

DNA of ancient Roman and medieval grape seeds reveals unexpected links to modern grape varieties

An international consortium which included INRA, the CNRS and the University of Montpellier1 has shed new light on viticulture in ancient Rome and the Middle Ages. Researchers sequenced the DNA of 28 grape seeds found on archaeological sites in France and compared their genomes to those of modern grape varieties. They found Savagnin Blanc, a grape variety popular in the Jura region, on a medieval archaeological site near Orléans. They also established genetic relationships between varieties like Pinot Noir and Syrah and Roman varieties. Their studies show that Roman winemakers propagated their vines by widely distributing cuttings across vast territories.

17 Jun 2019
14 Jun 2019
  • Céréales et tournesols fleuris sur fond de ciel.. © INRA, BEGUEY Alain
  • Ciel d'orage en Eure et Loir.. © INRA, WEBER Jean
  • Biofilm mixte de Lactococcus lactis (coques jaunes) et de Listeria monocytogenes (bâtonnets roses), observé en microscopie électronique à balayage.. © inra, Thierry MEYLHEUC
  • Supermarché. © MAITRE Christophe
  • Floating market.. © INRA, Chloé Le Bastard