Not Getting Enough Sex? Think You Can Stay Abstinent for 8,000 Years?

Grapes have been. Wine grapes anyway, which seem to have held off for just about that long.

The lack of sex has been discovered by Sean Myles, a geneticist at Cornell University. He developed a gene chip that tests for the genetic variation commonly found in grapes. He then scanned the genomes of the thousand or so grape varieties in the Department of Agriculture’s extensive collection.

Much to his surprise he found that 75 percent of the varieties were as closely related as parent and child or brother and sister. “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.”

Lack of Sex Among Wine Grapes Saps Its Genetic Health – NYTimes.com

The article features a diagram showing the relationship between many grape varietals, many well-known, some obscure.

 

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This entry was posted in Biology, Evolution, Food and Drink, Genetics, Science and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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