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New rapid procedure for genetic characterization of Italian wild olive (Olea europaea) and traceability of virgin olive oils by means of SSR markers

Chiappetta, Adriana, Muto, Antonella, Muzzalupo, Rita, Muzzalupo, Innocenzo
Scientia horticulturae 2017 v.226 pp. 42-49
DNA, European Union, Olea europaea, genetic relationships, genetic variation, leaves, microsatellite repeats, olives, traceability, virgin olive oil, Italy, Sardinia
Little is currently known about the genetic relationships between the cultivated olive and wild olive trees in Italy. This report is the first study that has developed molecular characterization of wild olive plants from leaf tissue, without the DNA extraction step. The new protocol was able to amplify every microsatellite tested also in five monovarietal virgin olive oil samples, revealing clear, accurate, reproducible and easily interpretable allelic profiles. Our results show a genetic variability among Sardinia and Calabria wild olive trees, as well as between wild olive and olive varieties sampled from both areas. The possibility to provide a market product with a genetic fingerprint is undoubtedly an added value, especially when considering the high level of food counterfeits spread all-over the world. These results are also in line with the latest rules issued by the European Union aimed to protect niche products.