Characterization of Libyan Olive (Olea Europaea L.) Cultivars using Morphological Data

Tuesday, July 23, 2013
Desert Ballroom: Salons 7-8 (Desert Springs J.W Marriott Resort )
Salem Abdul , Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO
Gayle Volk , USDA–ARS, National Center for Genetic Resources Preservation, Fort Collins, CO
Christopher Richards , USDA–ARS, National Center for Genetic Resources Preservation, Fort Collins, CO
Harrison Hughes, PhD , Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO
Olive (Olea europaea L.) consumption and production are important socially and economically in Libya. Olive cultivars that are adapated to local conditions produce olives that have high oil quality and quantity. Many of the important Libyan olive cultivars were included in this research. One goal of our project was to determine the plasticity of morphological traits collected from olive cultivars that have been grown at diverse locations within Libya. Another goal was to identify a set of traits that are independent and stable regardless of the environmental growth conditions. This set of traits can then be used in subsequent analyses to correlate genetic and phenotypic characteristics of Libyan olives. We compared two different groups of olive: 45 local cultivars and 45 introduced cultivars of Olea europaea sativa. Morphological data were collected for quantitative traits such as fruit weight, volume, width and length as well as seed and leaf weight, width and length. Scanned images were analyzed to determine cross sectional area and perimeter for fruit, leaf, and seed samples. Qualitative data were also collected for  fruit and seed shape, symmetry, surface characteristics using standardized descriptors. Large differences were observed for many of the morphological traits across the diverse cultivars.  We plan to use these sets of data to develop methods to identify unique and desirable Libyan cultivars morphologically and to then use these data as part of our genetic analyses.