N. Moutier, J.-P. Roger, B. Khadari, F. Dosba
In France, olive growing covers the whole Mediterranean region. The genetic diversity is important since about 150 cultivars are grown, but only a dozen are grown on large areas. The remaining consists of many local cultivars, specific to each of the 13 southern French ‘départements’ with limited cultivated areas. To preserve and study these local genetic resources, we established a network including local people. In this paper, we describe this network and propose a conservation strategy at national and local levels. At national level, a varietal collection of reference was established in 1980 by INRA Montpellier and CBNMED Porquerolles. This collection is located on Porquerolles island, out of frost, thereby ensuring the long-term preservation of cultivars. It currently includes about a hundred French cultivars. This collection presents the advantages to gather in one site the main cultivars of the different production areas. However, the poor adaptability of some cultivars to the location prevents most works of agronomical characterization.
At local level, varietal collections have been established to preserve not only the main cultivars but also local and minor ones. To date, 13 collections have been estab-lished in 12 ‘départements’ with a minimum of 3 trees per cultivar, each collection gathering only the cultivars of the ‘département’. These collections are managed by local people involved in the “National network for the management of olive tree genetic resources”. Local collections allow the conservation of the cultivars cultivated in the ‘département’ and the agronomic observation of the cultivars in their natural environment. They also facilitate the identification of cultivars by local growers and can be used as mother-plants for cultivars propagation and dissemination by nursery-men.
Moutier, N., Roger, J.-P., Khadari, B. and Dosba, F. (2011). STRATEGY FOR THE CONSERVATION OF FRENCH OLIVE GENETIC RESOURCES. Acta Hortic. 924, 277-282
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2011.924.34
olive tree (Olea europaea L.), national network, varietal collections

Acta Horticulturae