Olive Growing in a Time of Change: From Empiricism to Genomics

  • Luis Rallo
  • Tiziano CarusoEmail author
  • Concepción M. Díez
  • Giuseppe Campisi
Part of the Compendium of Plant Genomes book series (CPG)


Since its beginning, the olive crop has been a long-lived agricultural system in the Mediterranean Basin being well adapted to this area. Traditional olive growing, still prevalent in most producing areas, is characterized by low tree density and rainfed orchards with low yield and manually harvested. The traditional olive growing technology is local, diverse, and empirically based. New high density, irrigated, and mechanically harvested orchards has been progressively planted since the end of World War II. These plantations produce high crops at low costs, but they reduce the diversity of cultivars, increase the demand of inputs and the risk of environment unbalances. The expansion and intensification of olive growing, and the perception of olive oil and table olives as healthy foods, have largely increased the production of these products. However, the intensification and expansion of olive growing to new regions is also raising some concerns related to genetic erosion, the adaptation of cultivars, the spread of biotic agents, the scarcity of water, and the increase of soil erosion, among others. New technological advances in olive growing and breeding, and the development of new disciplines such as genomics promise to be of outstanding role to guarantee the conservation and sustainable use of the olive genetic diversity and the rational use of natural resources.


Olive growing High-density olive plantations Genetic resources Breeding Olive oil quality Olive genomics 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Luis Rallo
    • 1
  • Tiziano Caruso
    • 2
    Email author
  • Concepción M. Díez
    • 1
  • Giuseppe Campisi
    • 2
  1. 1.Departamento de AgronomíaEdificio Celestino Mutis, Universidad de Cordoba, Campus Universitario de Rabanales, Campus Internacional de Excelencia CeiA3CórdobaSpain
  2. 2.Department of Agricultural and Forest ScienceUniversity of PalermoPalermoItaly

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