Genetic Diversity within Ancient Olives (Olea europaea L.)

Discussion Committee: 
Dr. Hassan Abu Qaoud / Supervisor
Dr. Rami Arafeh / Co- Supervisor
Dr. Aziz Salameh / (External Examiner
Dr. Heba El-Fares / Internal Examiner
Dr. Hassan Abu Qaoud / Supervisor
Dr. Rami Arafeh / Co- Supervisor
Mohammed Yousef Jaber
This study is conducted to explore the genetic variation using simple sequence repeat (SSR) microsatellite marker within ancient olive “Roumi” and some selected common cultivars across olive cultivation areas in Palestine. Ninety two ancient olive samples in addition to four Nabali Baladi, three Nabali Mohassan, one Souri, and one wild olive samples were included in the study. The famous olive tree of Al-Walaja village that is dated to 4500-5000 years was also included in the study (6 samples from the tree drip line). In six SSR loci screened (23) polymorphic alleles were observed. Cluster analyses by neighbour joining (NJ) and Principal Coordinate Analysis (PCA) in 2D and 3D plots reflected high genetic similarity within the group of ancient olive in addition to the “Nabali”. The Nabali Mohassan and Souri were clustered in two separated groups. The “Al-Walaja” and the wild samples clustered closely in one group. Both individual and Population based analysis showed absence of geographical pattern within the ancient populations in addition to a clear separation from Nabali Mohassan and Souri from the remaining populations. The High similarity between Roumi and Nabali Baladi, and also between the wild and Al-Walaja tree was observed indicating common ancestral genetic pool. In conclusion, the Roumi ancient olives in Palestine have very narrow genetic background suggesting that it was propagated from very similar genetic material.
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