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The main Croatian olive cultivar, ‘Oblica’, shows high morphological but low molecular diversity

Strikic, F., Bandelj Mavsar, D., Perica, S., Cmelik, Z., Satovic, Z., Javornik, B.
Journal of horticultural science & biotechnology 2009 v.84 no.3 pp. 345-349
Olea europaea, altitude, amplified fragment length polymorphism, biotechnology, clones, cultivars, genetic markers, genetic variation, horticulture, latitude, longitude, olives, trees, Croatia
The most important olive (Olea europaea L.) cultivar in Croatia is ‘Oblica’, which is cultivated in all growing regions and makes up ≤ 75% of all olive trees. A total of 36 typical ‘Oblica’ trees were sampled from five growing regions in Croatia. An analysis of 12 morphological traits revealed high variability among the samples. Geographical latitude had the greatest influence (r = 0.276) on morphological characteristics, followed by longitude (r = 0.223), and altitude (r = 0.127). The correlation between all 12 morphological characteristics and geographical coordinates was 25.7%, which indicates a strong environmental influence on morphology. Molecular identification of the 36 samples, based on AFLP markers, suggested that intra-cultivar genetic variability was limited (4.82%). These results suggest that a few closely-related clones constitute the genetic structure of ‘Oblica’, while the observed morphological diversity is due to environmental factors.