The forgotten, ancient olive trees of the Spanish northwest: A first molecular and botanical analysis

Pilar Gago, José L. Santiago, Susana Boso, María C. Martínez

Abstract


No country has a larger area under olive (Olea europaea subs. europaea var. europaea) cultivation than Spain. In the Spanish northwest, however, this crop has largely been forgotten, even though olive oil was once an important product of the area. Sadly, apart from a few scraps of information handed down orally, little information exists regarding the genotypes grown, or from where they may have originally come. Many centuries-old olive trees, however, can still be found in the area, some even forming groves now part of open woodland but which may harbour an important genetic reservoir. The present work describes a botanical and molecular analysis of these ancient trees, following a survey of allegedly native genotypes surviving in different locations in Galicia. Comparison of their molecular profiles with those in the World Olive Germplasm Bank of Cordoba, and those in the database compiled by the Agronomy Department of the University of Cordoba, revealed two known Galician genotypes, ´Brava Gallega´ and ´Mansa Gallega´, and the Portuguese genotype ´Cobrancoça´. Six genotypes present in neither database were also detected. In addition, some misidentifications of the ´Mansa´ genotype in recent studies were clarified. Botanical analysis confirmed the molecular results in all cases. The findings suggest a larger survey should be performed so that the full olive genetic diversity of this region can be recorded and preserved.


Keywords


Olea europaea L; ´Brava Gallega´; ´Mansa Gallega´; unknown genotypes; Galicia; morphological descriptors; SSRs

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References


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DOI: 10.5424/sjar/2019172-13572