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World Catalogue of Olive Varieties

World Catalogue of Olive Varieties   QAIOCWorldOliveVar

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World Catalogue of Olive Varieties IOOC

The olive tree has been cultivated for approximately 6000 years in the Mediterranean countries where 95% of olive resources are located. Its habitat is determined by the Mediterranean climate, which is characterised by relatively mild winters and hot, dry summers. The areas belonging to this climate type lie between 30° and 45° north and south latitudes. With the discovery of America, olive growing spread gradually on a limited scale to South and North America. The 19th century then saw its spread to Australia and nowadays it is also grown elsewhere.

Some 850 million olive trees are grown in the world on approximately 8.7 million hectares of land. Around 10 million tonnes of olives are produced, 90% of which is channeled into oil Producción while the remaining 10% is for Aceitunas de mesa.

The majority of olive orchards are cultivated along traditional lines. This type of olive growing has several characteristics, the most important of which are now described.

As a result of the longevity of the olive tree, which can live for centuries, orchards of very differing ages exist alongside each other. For hundreds of years this heterogeneity has not caused any serious drawbacks to cultivation but nowadays the decline of many orchards is due to it. For instance, it is impossible for an olive orchard established in mountain areas in the 19th century to be the basis of olive growing that is open to the global market of the 21st century.

The proverbial adaptation of the olive tree to the Mediterranean climate is the reason why it is basically a dry-farmed crop. In such conditions, however, productivity per hectare is limited. For this reason, through history, demand for Aceite de oliva has been met by gradually occupying and if necessary breaking up increasingly more fragile soils.

This strategy has given rise to two characteristics that hamper the survival of numerous olive orchards. The first one is the marginal nature of the groves. Much of the land where olives are grown is intrinsically incapable of producing profitable crops under dry-farming conditions. The second characteristic is their fragility, the determinant of which is erosion. It is estimated that a large percentage of olive orchards have lost soil through erosion, and continuar to do so.

In olive cultivation labour is required primarily for harvesting. In areas where it is a monoculture, the demand for labour is seasonal. Even so, this possibility of jobs is still essential in many olive-growing areas where unemployment is the chief socio-economic problem.

Lastly, traditional olive growing has essentially depended on empirical techniques. For instance, in countless olive-growing areas virtually only one variety is cultivated, which was selected locally centuries ago by anonymous, discerning growers. The fact that large propagules were required for the vegetative propagation of these cultivars meant that they were confined to a fairly extensive tract around their assumed source area.

Nevertheless, growing demand in the latter part of the 20th century has changed matters considerably. The measures taken by the Mediterranean countries, the attractive prices fetched by Aceite de olivas on the marketplace, the growing demand from new non-Mediterranean consumer countries as a result of Promociónal campaigns and the positive findings of Investigación científica have led to the creation of new olive orchards capable of taking up this challenge. The expansion of irrigated olive farming, new planting and harvesting methods, the need for soil conservation, the increasing concern for quality, etc are making it necessary for traditional olive growing to change its set ways. The olive orchards of the 21st century will definitely be very different to those known so far.This is the background to the need to catalogue the existing varieties in the world in order to ensure that this heritage is preserved and as a pre-requisite for obtaining new varieties.

The first fruit trees were domesticated in the Near East some 6000 years ago. In this area, arboriculture as it is known today began some 4000 years after the start of agriculture. This long lag may possibly have been because the seeds of the fruit species originating in this area were unable to make the characteristics of the mother plants come true. It is possible, however, that the seeds of selected trees were used initially, as had been done for sowing cereals and pulses, and that some characteristics became established with time, such as larger fruit size.

However, fruit tree cultivation did not come into being until vegetative propagation was mastered. There is archaeological evidence that the olive, the vine, the fig and the date palm were the first fruit trees to be cultivated by man. These four species have one feature in common: they are easy to propagate vegetatively by simple methods (using ovuli, hardwood cuttings, suckers) for which relatively large propagules are generally required. The first olive growers may feasibly have picked out individuals that stood out because of certain worthwhile characteristics in wild olive groves or in groves of wild olives improved through selection. Currently, cultivated varieties differ from wild ones in that the fruit is larger and contains more oil. These two criteria, together with yield and adaptation to the Medio ambiente, must have determined the selection of such individuals for cultivation. Asexual propagation by the methods just mentioned at last made it possible to obtain progeny identical to the mother plant. In the case of the olive, fragments of olive stones distinctly larger than those of wild olives have been found at Teleilat Ghassul (3700-3500 B.C.) to the north of the Dead Sea.

Olive growing spread across the Mediterranean Basin with the expansion of culture. As settlers took propagules of the initial cultivars to new olive-growing areas and the same process of tree selection and cloning was carried out, the cultivated varieties of the countries along both shores of the Mediterranean gradually emerged. Local wild olives, which were known to be inter-fertile with cultivated olives, played a key part in varietal diversification. Their generalised presence throughout all the Mediterranean countries and the possibility of gene introgression of local populations of wild olive in successive selected varieties have led to present-day genetic variability and to the olive's adaptation to different Medio ambientes.

The generalisation of the process that has just been described in the countries where the olive tree was introduced led to great diversity in cultivars. Studies on the varieties cultivated in France, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Tunisia and Turkey reveal a varietal Estructura characterised by a large number of ancient varieties that are normally confined to their assumed area of origin. The existence of a single population variety - the `Picholine marocaine' - is reported in Morocco although there are reasonable doubts that this denomination includes different varieties.

Outside the Mediterranean, olive growing has developed basically through the Introducción of varieties from other countries. This is the case of the United States, Argentina and Australia.

The increasing exchange of material is altering the situation in traditional olive-growing countries. This is largely due to the reduction in the size of propagule needed for leafy stem propagation and to the concomitant development of a nursery industry. Spain, for instance, has seen spectacular growth of olive orchards in recent years. Over 90% of the orchards are being planted with only three varieties ("Picual", "Arbequina" and "Hojiblanca"), which are spreading to areas that are very far from their traditional growing areas without any previous testing in the new locations. The situation is similar in Italy where the traditional cultivars in the olive-growing areas are losing ground in new orchards to varieties that offer better characteristics overall for oil or table olive Producción.

In addition, the nursery industry has recently started exporting large quantities to various countries. New olive orchards in countries such as Egypt, Morocco, Argentina, Chile, Portugal and Australia are also seeing the gradual inclusion of plant material from various sources.

In the case of the olive there is less risk than in other species that the genetic resources selected by man will disappear. The predominance of traditional olive orchards and the longevity of the species guarantee genetic diversity in the medium term.

So far, varietal cataloguing has been only fragmentary in the traditional olive-growing countries although they do have numerous varietal collections.

The first problem facing collections is the correct identification of accessions. During the processes of varietal selection and dissemination man has used generic naming criteria. These usually refer to some striking characteristic of the variety (fruit, tree, leaf, etc.), or to its end use or to some toponym. This has led to the use of the same name for different varieties (homonyms) and of different names for the same variety (synonyms). Cataloguing has been insufficient, either because of the scope of the studies or because the pomological files used have been incomplete and subjective, which has created considerable confusion over varietal denominations.

Correct varietal identification is crucial at a time when the exchange of plant material is increasing at great speed. This is why it is of such importance to identify the material held in germplasm banks prior to its distribution to the sector. A second problem facing collections is the extent to which the varieties they hold are representative since collections include only part of the varietal wealth of a country and many collections are probably not representative enough of the material cultivated in the countries where they are located.

The growth in plant material exchanges between countries is making it necessary to catalogue varieties. The RESGEN project (Project on the Conservation, Characterisation, Collection and Utilisation of Genetic Resources in Olive), which is being implemented by the International Aceite de oliva Council with the contribution of the European Community and the Common Fund for Commodities, aims to catalogue correctly the varietal collections held in 16 Mediterranean countries (Algeria, Croatia, Cyprus, Egypt, France, Greece, Italy, Israel, Lebanon, Morocco, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Syria, Tunisia and Yugoslavia, FR.), and to include any varieties surveyed in the countries that are not already held in the collections.

This catalogue features 139 varieties from 23 olive-growing countries that account for almost 85% of olive crop area. The number of varieties described for each country has been determined by the importance of olive growing in the country and by the extent of the variety.

In short, this work aims to stimulate cataloging of all the varieties of olive cultivated around the world.

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Table of Contents

METHODOLOGY

Descriptor file

·Passport data
·Morphological characters
·Agronomic and commercial
 considerations

WORLD CATALOGUE OF OLIVE VARIETIES

ALBANIA
Kalinjot

ALGERIA
Azeradj
Blanquette de Guelma
Chemlal de Kabylie
Limli
Sigoise

ARGENTINA
Arauco

CHILE
Azapa

CROATIA
Lastovka
Levantinka
Oblica

CYPRUS
Ladoelia

EGYPT
Aggezi Shami
Hamed
Toffahi

FRANCE
Aglandau
Bouteillan
Grossane
Lucques
Picholine Languedoc
Salonenque
Tanche

GREECE
Adramitini
Amigdalolia
Chalkidiki
Kalamon
Konservolia
Koroneiki
Mastoidis
Megaritiki
Valanolia

ISRAEL
Barnea
Kadesh
Merhavia

ITALY
Ascolana Tenera
Biancolilla
Bosana
Canino
Carolea
Casaliva
Cassanese
Cellina di Nardò
Coratina
Cucco
Dolce Agogia
Dritta
Frantoio
Giarraffa
Grignan
Itrana
Leccino
Majatica di Ferrandina
Moraiolo
Nocellara del Belice
Nocellara Etnea
Ogliarola Barese
Oliva di Cerignola
Ottobratica
Pendolino
Pisciottana
Pizz'e Carroga
Rosciola
Sant'Agostino
Santa Caterina
Taggiasca

JORDAN
Rasi'i

LEBANON
Soury

MOROCCO
Haouzia
Menara
Meslala
Picholine marocaine

PALESTINE
Nabali Baladi

PORTUGAL
Carrasquenha
Cobrançosa
Cordovil de Castelo Branco
Cordovil de Serpa
Galega Vulgar
Maçanilha Algarvia
Redondal

SLOVENIA
Bianchera

SPAIN
Alfafara
Aloreña
Arbequina
Bical
Blanqueta
Callosina
Carrasqueño de la Sierra
Castellana
Changlot Real
Cornicabra
Empeltre
Farga
Gordal de Granada
Gordal Sevillana
Hojiblanca
Lechín de Granada
Lechín de Sevilla
Loaime
Lucio
Manzanilla Cacereña
Manzanilla Prieta
Manzanilla de Sevilla
Mollar de Cieza
Morisca
Morona
Morrut
Palomar
Picual
Picudo
Rapasayo
Royal de Cazorla
Sevillenca
Verdial de Badajoz
Verdial de Huevar
Verdial de Vélez-Málaga
Verdiell
Villalonga

SYRIA
Abou-Satl
Doebli
Kaissy
Sorani
Zaity

TUNISIA
Chemlali de Sfax
Chétoui
Gerboui
Meski
Oueslati

TURKEY
Ayvalik
Çekiste
Çelebi
Domat
Erkence
Gemlik
Izmir Sofralik
Memecik
Memeli
Uslu

UNITED STATES
Mission

YUGOSLAVIA, F.R.
Zutica

ALPHABETICAL INDEX OF VARIETIES AND SYNONYMS

REFERENCES

 





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