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DNA fingerprinting of olive varieties in Istria (Croatia) by microsatellite markers

Poljuha, D., Sladonja, B., Šetić, E., Milotić, A., Bandelj, D., Jakše, J., Javornik, B.
Scientia horticulturae 2008 v.115 no.3 pp. 223-230
Olea europaea, olives, DNA fingerprinting, cultivars, microsatellite repeats, genetic markers, landraces, genetic relationships, geographical variation, plant adaptation, olive oil, genetic polymorphism, alleles, loci, germplasm, Croatia
The Istria region, where olives have been cultivated for many centuries, is characterized by a considerable variety of microclimates. The study of varieties traditionally cultivated in Croatian Istria and their relationships with varieties in historically and geographically connected regions is very important in order to identify native olive germplasm, well adapted to local conditions, and to characterize the oil of regional origin. Twelve olive microsatellite markers were used for identification and differentiation of a set of 27 olive accessions grown in Istria (Croatia). Among the 27 accessions, 18 different SSR profiles were discriminated. All 12 microsatellite markers analysed were polymorphic, revealing a total of 81 alleles. The number of alleles per locus ranged from four to nine. This is the first molecular characterization of olive germplasm in Croatian Istria. The analysis clarified the genetic relationships of varieties native to Croatian Istria with introduced olive varieties, as well as with varieties in the neighbouring Slovene Istria region. Numerous varieties in neighbouring regions showed high similarity and a few cases of synonymy ('Bilica'-'Bjankera'; 'Buga'-'Črna') and one Croatian-Slovenian homonymy ('Buža'-'Buga') were observed. The results provide useful information for a native germplasm survey and can be used for the construction of a unique database comprising all olive varieties in the Istrian region of Croatia and Slovenia.