Varietal tracing of virgin olive oils based on plastid DNA variation profiling.PLoS One. 2013; 8(8):e70507.Plos
Olive oil traceability remains a challenge nowadays. DNA analysis is the preferred approach to an effective varietal identification, without any environmental influence. Specifically, olive organelle genomics is the most promising approach for setting up a suitable set of markers as they would not interfere with the pollinator variety DNA traces. Unfortunately, plastid DNA (cpDNA) variation of the cultivated olive has been reported to be low. This feature could be a limitation for the use of cpDNA polymorphisms in forensic analyses or oil traceability, but rare cpDNA haplotypes may be useful as they can help to efficiently discriminate some varieties. Recently, the sequencing of olive plastid genomes has allowed the generation of novel markers. In this study, the performance of cpDNA markers on olive oil matrices, and their applicability on commercial Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) oils were assessed. By using a combination of nine plastid loci (including multi-state microsatellites and short indels), it is possible to fingerprint six haplotypes (in 17 Spanish olive varieties), which can discriminate high-value commercialized cultivars with PDO. In particular, a rare haplotype was detected in genotypes used to produce a regional high-value commercial oil. We conclude that plastid haplotypes can help oil traceability in commercial PDO oils and set up an experimental methodology suitable for organelle polymorphism detection in the complex olive oil matrices.