Olive genetic diversity assessed using amplified fragment length polymorphisms
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Amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) analysis was used to study the genetic variation within and among populations of genus Olea. A group of genotypes, all of them cultivated varieties of a single species, Olea europaea, was compared with wild olives and with a group of individuals belonging to different Olea species. Five primer combinations were used which produced about 290 polymorphic bands. The data obtained were elaborated with the Nei’s genetic similarity coefficient, applying different clustering methods and the Principal Coordinate Analysis. Cultivars, wild olives and North-West African species formed groups clustering together at a similarity level of 0.56, while the Olea species from East Africa and Asia grouped separately. Species from the Indian Ocean and Australia showed the highest diversity. We hypothesize that cultivars and wild plants are different forms of the same O. europaea species. The Olea from East Africa and Asia may be assigned to a different species, while the role of O. laperrini as well as that of O. maroccana as an intermediary form is confirmed.
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