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Oil composition of advanced selections from an olive breeding program

León, Lorenzo, Beltrán, Gabriel, Aguilera, Maria P., Rallo, Luis, Barranco, Diego, De la Rosa, Raúl
European journal of lipid science and technology 2011 v.113 no.7 pp. 870-875
agronomic traits, breeding, cultivars, fatty acid composition, fatty acids, genotype, multivariate analysis, olives, virgin olive oil
Fifteen genotypes coming from crosses between the cultivars Arbequina, Frantoio and Picual were selected on the basis of their agronomic characteristics in a breeding program initiated in 1991. In the present work, the main components of the olive oil of these 15 advances selections have been characterized and compared to their genitors. A wide range of variation was observed for all the fatty acids, minor components and related characteristics evaluated, with significant differences between genotypes for all of them except for β-tocopherol content. These results confirm the strong genetic influence on olive oil quality previously reported on olive oil cultivar evaluations. The values obtained in the selections have extended the range of variation of their three genitors for all the characters evaluated, except for γ-tocopherol. Selections UC-I 7-8, UC-I 5-44 and UC-I 2-68 showed the highest average values for tocopherols, polyphenol and C18:1 contents, respectively. Finally, multivariate analysis allowed the classification of genotypes in four groups according to their olive oil composition. Practical applications: Olive oil composition is considered one of the most important objectives in breeding programs aiming at obtaining new olive cultivars. In the last decades olive breeding programs are being carried out in the main olive-producing countries and several new cultivars and advanced selections have been described. The results of this work provide an initial characterization of virgin olive oils of advanced selections coming from crosses between the cultivars Arbequina, Frantoio and Picual and suggest a strong genetic influence on fatty acid composition, several minor components and related characteristics. These results, together with the agronomic characterization of these selections previously reported, will be used for the final selection of the best genotypes to be registered as new cultivars.