How to Choose a Good Marker to Analyze the Olive Germplasm (Olea europaea L.) and Derived Products.Genes (Basel). 2021 09 23; 12(10)G
The olive tree (Olea europaea L.) is one of the most cultivated crops in the Mediterranean basin. Its economic importance is mainly due to the intense production of table olives and oil. Cultivated varieties are characterized by high morphological and genetic variability and present a large number of synonyms and homonyms. This necessitates the introduction of a rapid and accurate system for varietal identification. In the past, the recognition of olive cultivars was based solely on analysis of the morphological traits, however, these are highly influenced by environmental conditions. Therefore, over the years, several methods based on DNA analysis were developed, allowing a more accurate and reliable varietal identification. This review aims to investigate the evolving history of olive tree characterization approaches, starting from the earlier morphological methods to the latest technologies based on molecular markers, focusing on the main applications of each approach. Furthermore, we discuss the impact of the advent of next generation sequencing and the recent sequencing of the olive genome on the strategies used for the development of new molecular markers.