MORPHOLOGICAL AND MOLECULAR CHARACTERIZATION FOR ASSESSMENT OF GENETIC VARIATION WITHIN THE 'BALADI' OLIVE CULTIVAR
In vegetatively propagated crops such as olive, the genetic variation is mainly inter-varietal but also at intra-cultivar level particularly in the ancient and widespread olive cultivars. Baladi is the oldest common olive variety cultivated in Lebanon. The variability within this cultivar is highly expected because of its broad geographic distribution in different environmental conditions and local on-farm selection. In this study, we aimed to assess the in situ diversity of Baladi on a sample of 30 accessions grown in the main areas of olive culture located in different agroclimatic conditions in Lebanon. A morphological characterization was carried out by using 15 discriminant pomological characters previously defined by the International Olive Oil Council (IOOC). Additionally, a molecular analysis was conducted with a set of 12 SSR makers previously developed for the assessment of olive genetic diversity. Results showed a large variability of fruit and endocarp traits. The SSRs markers have also revealed a high level of polymorphism within the Lebanese common Baladi, showing a mixture of highly distinct genotypes but also close related genotypes corresponding to clonal variants that were probably issued from somatic variation. This study does not exclude the presence of homonymy cases that may frequently occur among the common local cultivars. The high genetic variation revealed within Baladi can be useful for breeding purposes.
Chalak, L., Chehade, A., Elbitar, A., Youssef, H., Nabbout, R., Smaha, M., Haj, A.K., Bassal, A., Hamadeh, B., Haouane, H. and Khadari, B. (2014). MORPHOLOGICAL AND MOLECULAR CHARACTERIZATION FOR ASSESSMENT OF GENETIC VARIATION WITHIN THE 'BALADI' OLIVE CULTIVAR. Acta Hortic. 1057, 741-748
Olea europaea L., 'Baladi' cultivar, IOOC descriptors, SSR diversity, polyclonal variety