• Background and Aims Olive cultivars and their wild relatives (oleasters) represent two botanical varieties of Olea europaea subsp. europaea (respectively europaea and sylvestris). Olive cultivars have undergone human selection and their area of diffusion overlaps that of oleasters. Populations of genuine wild olives seem restricted to isolated areas of Mediterranean forests, while most other wild-looking forms of olive may include feral forms that escaped cultivation.
• Methods The genetic structure of wild and cultivated olive tree populations was evaluated by amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) markers at a microscale level in one continental and two insular Italian regions.
• Key Results The observed patterns of genetic variation were able to distinguish wild from cultivated populations and continental from insular regions. Island oleasters were highly similar to each other and were clearly distinguishable from those of continental regions. Ancient cultivated material from one island clustered with the wild plants, while the old plants from the continental region clustered with the cultivated group.
• Conclusions On the basis of these results, we can assume that olive trees have undergone a different selection/domestication process in the insular and mainland regions. The degree of differentiation between oleasters and cultivated trees on the islands suggests that all cultivars have been introduced into these regions from the outside, while the Umbrian cultivars have originated either by selection from local oleasters or by direct introduction from other regions.
Olea europaea; AFLP; genetic diversity; population structure; wild populations
The conservation of cultivated plants in ex-situ collections is essential for the optimal management and use of their genetic resources. For the olive tree, two world germplasm banks (OWGB) are presently established, in Córdoba (Spain) and Marrakech (Morocco). This latter was recently founded and includes 561 accessions from 14 Mediterranean countries. Using 12 nuclear microsatellites (SSRs) and three chloroplast DNA markers, this collection was characterised to examine the structure of the genetic diversity and propose a set of olive accessions encompassing the whole Mediterranean allelic diversity range. We identified 505 SSR profiles based on a total of 210 alleles. Based on these markers, the genetic diversity was similar to that of cultivars and wild olives which were previously characterised in another study indicating that OWGB Marrakech is representative of Mediterranean olive germplasm. Using a model-based Bayesian clustering method and principal components analysis, this OWGB was structured into three main gene pools corresponding to eastern, central and western parts of the Mediterranean Basin. We proposed 10 cores of 67 accessions capturing all detected alleles and 10 cores of 58 accessions capturing the 186 alleles observed more than once. In each of the 10 cores, a set of 40 accessions was identical, whereas the remaining accessions were different, indicating the need to include complementary criteria such as phenotypic adaptive and agronomic traits. Our study generated a molecular database for the entire OWGB Marrakech that may be used to optimise a strategy for the management of olive genetic resources and their use for subsequent genetic and genomic olive breeding.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s10709-011-9608-7) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Olea europaea; SSR characterisation; Chloroplast DNA markers; Model-based Bayesian clustering; Allelic diversity capture
Background and Aims
This study examines the pattern of genetic variability and genetic relationships of wild olive (Olea europaea subsp. europaea var. sylvestris) populations in the north-western Mediterranean. Recent bottleneck events are also assessed and an investigation is made of the underlying population structure of the wild olive populations.
The genetic variation within and between 11 wild olive populations (171 individuals) was analysed with eight microsatellite markers. Conventional and Bayesian-based analyses were applied to infer genetic structure and define the number of gene pools in wild olive populations.
Bayesian model-based clustering identified four gene pools, which was in overall concordance with the Factorial Correspondence Analysis and Fitch–Margoliash tree. Two gene pools were predominantly found in southern Spain and Italian islands, respectively, in samples gathered from undisturbed forests of the typical Mediterranean climate. The other two gene pools were mostly detected in the north-eastern regions of Spain and in continental Italy and belong to the transition region between the temperate and Mediterranean climate zones.
On the basis of these results, it can be assumed that the population structure of wild olives from the north-western Mediterranean partially reflects the evolutionary history of these populations, although hybridization between true oleasters and cultivated varieties in areas of close contact between the two forms must be assumed as well. The study indicates a degree of admixture in all the populations, and suggests some caution regarding genetic differentiation at the population level, making it difficult to identify clear-cut genetic boundaries between candidate areas containing either genuinely wild or feral germplasm.
Olea europaea; genetic variability; gene pools; microsatellites; oleasters; population structure
The olive tree (Olea europaea L.) is a diploid (2n = 2x = 46) outcrossing species mainly grown in the Mediterranean area, where it is the most important oil-producing crop. Because of its economic, cultural and ecological importance, various DNA markers have been used in the olive to characterize and elucidate homonyms, synonyms and unknown accessions. However, a comprehensive characterization and a full sequence of its transcriptome are unavailable, leading to the importance of an efficient large-scale single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) discovery in olive. The objectives of this study were (1) to discover olive SNPs using next-generation sequencing and to identify SNP primers for cultivar identification and (2) to characterize 96 olive genotypes originating from different regions of Turkey.
Next-generation sequencing technology was used with five distinct olive genotypes and generated cDNA, producing 126,542,413 reads using an Illumina Genome Analyzer IIx. Following quality and size trimming, the high-quality reads were assembled into 22,052 contigs with an average length of 1,321 bases and 45 singletons. The SNPs were filtered and 2,987 high-quality putative SNP primers were identified. The assembled sequences and singletons were subjected to BLAST similarity searches and annotated with a Gene Ontology identifier. To identify the 96 olive genotypes, these SNP primers were applied to the genotypes in combination with amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) and simple sequence repeats (SSR) markers.
This study marks the highest number of SNP markers discovered to date from olive genotypes using transcriptome sequencing. The developed SNP markers will provide a useful source for molecular genetic studies, such as genetic diversity and characterization, high density quantitative trait locus (QTL) analysis, association mapping and map-based gene cloning in the olive. High levels of genetic variation among Turkish olive genotypes revealed by SNPs, AFLPs and SSRs allowed us to characterize the Turkish olive genotype.
Phylogenetic and phylogeographic investigations have been previously performed to study the evolution of the olive tree complex (Olea europaea). A particularly high genomic diversity has been found in north-west Africa. However, to date no exhaustive study has been addressed to infer putative polyploidization events and their evolutionary significance in the diversification of the olive tree and its relatives.
Representatives of the six olive subspecies were investigated using (a) flow cytometry to estimate genome content, and (b) six highly variable nuclear microsatellites to assess the presence of multiple alleles at co-dominant loci. In addition, nine individuals from a controlled cross between two individuals of O. europaea subsp. maroccana were characterized with microsatellites to check for chromosome inheritance.
Based on flow cytometry and genetic analyses, strong evidence for polyploidy was obtained in subspp. cerasiformis (tetraploid) and maroccana (hexaploid), whereas the other subspecies appeared to be diploids. Agreement between flow cytometry and genetic analyses gives an alternative approach to chromosome counting to determine ploidy level of trees. Lastly, abnormalities in chromosomes inheritance leading to aneuploid formation were revealed using microsatellite analyses in the offspring from the controlled cross in subsp. maroccana.
This study constitutes the first report for multiple polyploidy in olive tree relatives. Formation of tetraploids and hexaploids may have played a major role in the diversification of the olive complex in north-west Africa. The fact that polyploidy is found in narrow endemic subspecies from Madeira (subsp. cerasiformis) and the Agadir Mountains (subsp. maroccana) suggests that polyploidization has been favoured to overcome inbreeding depression. Lastly, based on previous phylogenetic analyses, we hypothesize that subsp. cerasiformis resulted from hybridization between ancestors of subspp. guanchica and europaea.
Flow cytometry; hexaploidy; High Atlas; Macaronesia; Olea europaea; olive; SSR; tetraploidy
Characterisation of plastid genome (or cpDNA) polymorphisms is commonly used for phylogeographic, population genetic and forensic analyses in plants, but detecting cpDNA variation is sometimes challenging, limiting the applications of such an approach. In the present study, we screened cpDNA polymorphism in the olive tree (Olea europaea L.) by sequencing the complete plastid genome of trees with a distinct cpDNA lineage. Our objective was to develop new markers for a rapid genomic profiling (by Multiplex PCRs) of cpDNA haplotypes in the Mediterranean olive tree.
Eight complete cpDNA genomes of Olea were sequenced de novo. The nucleotide divergence between olive cpDNA lineages was low and not exceeding 0.07%. Based on these sequences, markers were developed for studying two single nucleotide substitutions and length polymorphism of 62 regions (with variable microsatellite motifs or other indels). They were then used to genotype the cpDNA variation in cultivated and wild Mediterranean olive trees (315 individuals). Forty polymorphic loci were detected on this sample, allowing the distinction of 22 haplotypes belonging to the three Mediterranean cpDNA lineages known as E1, E2 and E3. The discriminating power of cpDNA variation was particularly low for the cultivated olive tree with one predominating haplotype, but more diversity was detected in wild populations.
We propose a method for a rapid characterisation of the Mediterranean olive germplasm. The low variation in the cultivated olive tree indicated that the utility of cpDNA variation for forensic analyses is limited to rare haplotypes. In contrast, the high cpDNA variation in wild populations demonstrated that our markers may be useful for phylogeographic and populations genetic studies in O. europaea.
To assess genotyping with microsatellite-based markers of the olive (Olea europaea L.) for potential application of olive as legal case evidence, with regard to the degree of variability within the Croatian olive genomic pool and to the effectiveness of the chosen set of microsatellite-based markers in revealing olive divergence.
The total of 44 autochthonous Croatian olive specimens were subjected to genotyping with 16 previously described and developed microsatellite-based markers. According to previous morphological analyses, 44 specimens were classified into 30 cultivars with the exception of an additional, previously unassigned specimen.
Genotyping of 44 specimens distinguished a total of 44 different genotype profiles by 16 microsatellite-based loci. Average expected heterozigosity amounted to 0.758, which points to significant diversity of Croatian olives.
Croatian olive genotyping showed strong varietal discrimination up to the single tree and considerable potential application of olive as evidence in investigation of crime, accident, and suicide circumstances.
'Ascolano' and 'Sevillano' olive trees, Olea europaea L., were highly susceptible to Meloidogyne javanica (Trueb) Chitwood, and growth of their tops was decreased greatly in tests in a glasshouse. Roots of 'Manzanillo' olive trees were galled moderately by M. javanica, and their tops weighed 6% less than those of noninoculated trees. 'Manzanillo' olive is considered highly tolerant to M. javanica. 'Ascolano' and 'Manzanillo' olive trees were highly susceptible to M. incognita (Kofoid &White) Chitwood. Their roots were galled moderately to severely, and growth of their tops were decreased between 13% and 44%. 'Ascolano' and 'Manzanillo' olive trees were considered to be highly resistant to M. arenaria (Neal) Chitwood and M. hapla Chitwood since no galls or mature females were found on their roots three and one-half months after inoculation.
The Olive tree (Olea europaea L.), a native of the Mediterranean basin and parts of Asia, is now widely cultivated in many other parts of the world for production of olive oil and table olives. Olive is a rich source of valuable nutrients and bioactives of medicinal and therapeutic interest. Olive fruit contains appreciable concentration, 1–3% of fresh pulp weight, of hydrophilic (phenolic acids, phenolic alchohols, flavonoids and secoiridoids) and lipophilic (cresols) phenolic compounds that are known to possess multiple biological activities such as antioxidant, anticarcinogenic, antiinflammatory, antimicrobial, antihypertensive, antidyslipidemic, cardiotonic, laxative, and antiplatelet. Other important compounds present in olive fruit are pectin, organic acids, and pigments. Virgin olive oil (VOO), extracted mechanically from the fruit, is also very popular for its nutritive and health-promoting potential, especially against cardiovascular disorders due to the presence of high levels of monounsaturates and other valuable minor components such as phenolics, phytosterols, tocopherols, carotenoids, chlorophyll and squalene. The cultivar, area of production, harvest time, and the processing techniques employed are some of the factors shown to influence the composition of olive fruit and olive oil. This review focuses comprehensively on the nutrients and high-value bioactives profile as well as medicinal and functional aspects of different parts of olives and its byproducts. Various factors affecting the composition of this food commodity of medicinal value are also discussed.
Mediterranean diet; high-value components; bioactives; phytochemicals; virgin olive oil; medicinal uses; therapeutic potential
Olea europaea L. is a traditional tree crop of the Mediterranean basin with a worldwide economical high impact. Differently from other fruit tree species, little is known about the physiological and molecular basis of the olive fruit development and a few sequences of genes and gene products are available for olive in public databases. This study deals with the identification of large sets of differentially expressed genes in developing olive fruits and the subsequent computational annotation by means of different software.
mRNA from fruits of the cv. Leccino sampled at three different stages [i.e., initial fruit set (stage 1), completed pit hardening (stage 2) and veraison (stage 3)] was used for the identification of differentially expressed genes putatively involved in main processes along fruit development. Four subtractive hybridization libraries were constructed: forward and reverse between stage 1 and 2 (libraries A and B), and 2 and 3 (libraries C and D). All sequenced clones (1,132 in total) were analyzed through BlastX against non-redundant NCBI databases and about 60% of them showed similarity to known proteins. A total of 89 out of 642 differentially expressed unique sequences was further investigated by Real-Time PCR, showing a validation of the SSH results as high as 69%. Library-specific cDNA repertories were annotated according to the three main vocabularies of the gene ontology (GO): cellular component, biological process and molecular function. BlastX analysis, GO terms mapping and annotation analysis were performed using the Blast2GO software, a research tool designed with the main purpose of enabling GO based data mining on sequence sets for which no GO annotation is yet available. Bioinformatic analysis pointed out a significantly different distribution of the annotated sequences for each GO category, when comparing the three fruit developmental stages. The olive fruit-specific transcriptome dataset was used to query all known KEGG (Kyoto Encyclopaedia of Genes and Genomes) metabolic pathways for characterizing and positioning retrieved EST records. The integration of the olive sequence datasets within the MapMan platform for microarray analysis allowed the identification of specific biosynthetic pathways useful for the definition of key functional categories in time course analyses for gene groups.
The bioinformatic annotation of all gene sequences was useful to shed light on metabolic pathways and transcriptional aspects related to carbohydrates, fatty acids, secondary metabolites, transcription factors and hormones as well as response to biotic and abiotic stresses throughout olive drupe development. These results represent a first step toward both functional genomics and systems biology research for understanding the gene functions and regulatory networks in olive fruit growth and ripening.
The medicinal properties of the leaves and fruit of Olea Europaea (olive tree) have been known since antiquity. Numerous contemporary studies have linked the Mediterranean diet with increased health. In particular, consumption of olive oil has been associated with a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease and certain cancers. Increasingly, there has been an interest in the biological properties of polyphenols, which are minor constituents of olive oil. For example, hydroxytyrosol has been shown to be a potent antioxidant and has anti-atherogenic and anti-cancer properties. The overall aim of this study was to provide insights into the molecular mechanisms of action of hydroxytyrosol using genome-wide mRNA-Seq. Initial experiments were aimed at assessing cytotoxicity, apoptosis and cell cycle effects of hydroxytyrosol in various cell lines. The findings indicated a dose-dependent reduction in cell viability in human erythroleukemic K562 and human keratinocytes. When comparing the viability in parental CEM-CCRF and R100 cells (which overexpress the P-glycoprotein pump), it was determined that the R100 cells were more resistant to effects of hydroxytyrosol suggesting efflux by the multi-drug resistance pump. By comparing the uptake of Hoechst 33342 in the two cell lines that had been pretreated with hydroxytyrosol, it was determined that the polyphenol may have P-glycoprotein-modulating activity. Further, initial studies indicated modest radioprotective effects of relatively low doses of hydroxytyrosol in human keratinocytes. Analysis of mRNA sequencing data identified that treatment of keratinocytes with 20 μM hydroxytyrosol results in the upregulation of numerous antioxidant proteins and enzymes, including heme oxygenase-1 (15.46-fold upregulation), glutaredoxin (1.65) and glutathione peroxidase (1.53). This may account for the radioprotective activity of the compound, and reduction in oxidative stress suggests a mechanism for chemoprevention of cancer by hydroxytyrosol. Alteration in the expression of transcription factors may also contribute to the anti-cancer effects described in numerous studies. These include changes in the expression of STAT3, STAT6, SMAD7 and ETS-1. The telomerase subunit TERT was also found to be downregulated in K562 cells. Overall, our findings provide insights into the mechanisms of action of hydroxytyrosol, and more generally, we identify potential gene candidates for further exploration.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s12263-011-0249-3) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Hydroxytyrosol; Olive polyphenol; Olive oil; Radioprotection; mRNA-Seq
The olive tree (Olea europaea L.) is widely known for its strong tendency for alternate bearing, which severely affects the fruit yield from year to year. Microarray based gene expression analysis using RNA from olive samples (on-off years leaves and ripe-unripe fruits) are particularly useful to understand the molecular mechanisms influencing the periodicity in the olive tree. Thus, we carried out genome wide transcriptome analyses involving different organs and temporal stages of the olive tree using the NimbleGen Array containing 136,628 oligonucleotide probe sets. Cluster analyses of the genes showed that cDNAs originated from different organs could be sorted into separate groups. The nutritional control had a particularly remarkable impact on the alternate bearing of olive, as shown by the differential expression of transcripts under different temporal phases and organs. Additionally, hormonal control and flowering processes also played important roles in this phenomenon. Our analyses provide further insights into the transcript changes between ”on year” and “off year” leaves along with the changes from unrpipe to ripe fruits, which shed light on the molecular mechanisms underlying the olive tree alternate bearing. These findings have important implications for the breeding and agriculture of the olive tree and other crops showing periodicity. To our knowledge, this is the first study reporting the development and use of an olive array to document the gene expression profiling associated with the alternate bearing in olive tree.
Phenotypic characterisation of germplasm collections is a decisive step towards association mapping analyses, but it is particularly expensive and tedious for woody perennial plant species. Characterisation could be more efficient if focused on a reasonably sized subset of accessions, or so-called core collection (CC), reflecting the geographic origin and variability of the germplasm. The questions that arise concern the sample size to use and genetic parameters that should be optimized in a core collection to make it suitable for association mapping. Here we investigated these questions in olive (Olea europaea L.), a perennial fruit species. By testing different sampling methods and sizes in a worldwide olive germplasm bank (OWGB Marrakech, Morocco) containing 502 unique genotypes characterized by nuclear and plastid loci, a two-step sampling method was proposed. The Shannon-Weaver diversity index was found to be the best criterion to be maximized in the first step using the Core Hunter program. A primary core collection of 50 entries (CC50) was defined that captured more than 80% of the diversity. This latter was subsequently used as a kernel with the Mstrat program to capture the remaining diversity. 200 core collections of 94 entries (CC94) were thus built for flexibility in the choice of varieties to be studied. Most entries of both core collections (CC50 and CC94) were revealed to be unrelated due to the low kinship coefficient, whereas a genetic structure spanning the eastern and western/central Mediterranean regions was noted. Linkage disequilibrium was observed in CC94 which was mainly explained by a genetic structure effect as noted for OWGB Marrakech. Since they reflect the geographic origin and diversity of olive germplasm and are of reasonable size, both core collections will be of major interest to develop long-term association studies and thus enhance genomic selection in olive species.
The olive fruit fly, Bactrocera oleae, is the most important pest of olives in olive growing regions worldwide, especially in the Mediterranean basin and North America. Despite the economic importance of the olive fly, the colonization route of this species is unclear. We used nuclear microsatellite markers and mitochondrial DNA to provide information about the population structure and invasion route of olive fly populations in Turkey, as representative of the Eastern Mediterranean region. Adult fly samples were collected from 38 sublocations covering all olive growing regions in Turkey. The simple sequence variability data revealed a significant genetic variability in olive fly populations and a certain degree of differentiation between Mediterranean and Aegean populations. Mediterranean populations harbor higher levels of microsatellite variation than Aegean populations, which points to the eastern part of the Mediterranean as the putative source of invasion. mtDNA results suggest olive flies from the western part of Turkey are closely related to Italo-Aegean flies of the Mediterranean basin and the olive fly populations have invaded the northern part of the Mediterranean basin through western Turkey. In addition, finding specific American haplotypes in high frequencies might indicate that Turkey is the possible source of American olive fly populations. In order to more precisely characterize the population structure and invasion routes of this organism, more DNA-based sequence analysis should be carried out worldwide.
After fruit ripening, many fruit-tree species undergo massive natural fruit abscission. Olive (Olea europaea L.) is a stone-fruit with cultivars such as Picual (PIC) and Arbequina (ARB) which differ in mature fruit abscission potential. Ethylene (ET) is associated with abscission, but its role during mature fruit abscission remains largely uncharacterized. The present study investigates the possible roles of ET and polyamine (PA) during mature fruit abscission by modulating genes involved in the ET signalling and biosynthesis pathways in the abscission zone (AZ) of both cultivars. Five ET-related genes (OeACS2, OeACO2, OeCTR1, OeERS1, and OeEIL2) were isolated in the AZ and adjacent cells (AZ–AC), and their expression in various olive organs and during mature fruit abscission, in relation to interactions between ET and PA and the expression induction of these genes, was determined. OeACS2, OeACO2, and OeEIL2 were found to be the only genes that were up-regulated in association with mature fruit abscission. Using the inhibition of ET and PA biosynthesis, it is demonstrated that OeACS2 and OeEIL2 expression are under the negative control of PA while ET induces their expression in AZ–AC. Furthermore, mature fruit abscission depressed nitric oxide (NO) production present mainly in the epidermal cells and xylem of the AZ. Also, NO production was differentially responsive to ET, PA, and different inhibitors. Taken together, the results indicate that PA-dependent ET signalling and biosynthesis pathways participate, at least partially, during mature fruit abscission, and that endogenous NO and 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid maintain an inverse correlation, suggesting an antagonistic action of NO and ET in abscission signalling.
Abscission zone; ethylene signalling and biosynthesis; mature fruit abscission; nitric oxide; polyamine
Olive (Olea europaea L.) fruits contain numerous secondary metabolites, primarily phenolics, terpenes and sterols, some of which are particularly interesting for their nutraceutical properties. This study will attempt to provide further insight into the profile of olive phenolic compounds during fruit development and to identify the major genetic determinants of phenolic metabolism.
The concentration of the major phenolic compounds, such as oleuropein, demethyloleuropein, 3–4 DHPEA-EDA, ligstroside, tyrosol, hydroxytyrosol, verbascoside and lignans, were measured in the developing fruits of 12 olive cultivars. The content of these compounds varied significantly among the cultivars and decreased during fruit development and maturation, with some compounds showing specificity for certain cultivars. Thirty-five olive transcripts homologous to genes involved in the pathways of the main secondary metabolites were identified from the massive sequencing data of the olive fruit transcriptome or from cDNA-AFLP analysis. Their mRNA levels were determined using RT-qPCR analysis on fruits of high- and low-phenolic varieties (Coratina and Dolce d’Andria, respectively) during three different fruit developmental stages. A strong correlation was observed between phenolic compound concentrations and transcripts putatively involved in their biosynthesis, suggesting a transcriptional regulation of the corresponding pathways. OeDXS, OeGES, OeGE10H and OeADH, encoding putative 1-deoxy-D-xylulose-5-P synthase, geraniol synthase, geraniol 10-hydroxylase and arogenate dehydrogenase, respectively, were almost exclusively present at 45 days after flowering (DAF), suggesting that these compounds might play a key role in regulating secoiridoid accumulation during fruit development.
Metabolic and transcriptional profiling led to the identification of some major players putatively involved in biosynthesis of secondary compounds in the olive tree. Our data represent the first step towards the functional characterisation of important genes for the determination of olive fruit quality.
Olea europaea; Phenolics; Secoiridoids; RT-qPCR; Transcriptome; Secondary metabolism
Olive (Olea europaea L.) cultivation is rapidly expanding and low quality saline water is often used for irrigation. The molecular basis of salt tolerance in olive, though, has not yet been investigated at a system level. In this study a comparative transcriptomics approach was used as a tool to unravel gene regulatory networks underlying salinity response in olive trees by simulating as much as possible olive growing conditions in the field. Specifically, we investigated the genotype-dependent differences in the transcriptome response of two olive cultivars, a salt-tolerant and a salt-sensitive one.
A 135-day long salinity experiment was conducted using one-year old trees exposed to NaCl stress for 90 days followed by 45 days of post-stress period during the summer. A cDNA library made of olive seedling mRNAs was sequenced and an olive microarray was constructed. Total RNA was extracted from root samples after 15, 45 and 90 days of NaCl-treatment as well as after 15 and 45 days of post-treatment period and used for microarray hybridizations. SAM analysis between the NaCl-stress and the post-stress time course resulted in the identification of 209 and 36 differentially expressed transcripts in the salt–tolerant and salt–sensitive cultivar, respectively. Hierarchical clustering revealed two major, distinct clusters for each cultivar. Despite the limited number of probe sets, transcriptional regulatory networks were constructed for both cultivars while several hierarchically-clustered interacting transcription factor regulators such as JERF and bZIP homologues were identified.
A systems biology approach was used and differentially expressed transcripts as well as regulatory interactions were identified. The comparison of the interactions among transcription factors in olive with those reported for Arabidopsis might indicate similarities in the response of a tree species with Arabidopsis at the transcriptional level under salinity stress.
Widespread in the Mediterranean basin, Olea europaea trees are gaining worldwide popularity for the nutritional and cancer-protective properties of the oil, mechanically extracted from ripe fruits. Fruit development is a physiological process with remarkable impact on the modulation of the biosynthesis of compounds affecting the quality of the drupes as well as the final composition of the olive oil. Proteomics offers the possibility to dig deeper into the major changes during fruit development, including the important phase of ripening, and to classify temporal patterns of protein accumulation occurring during these complex physiological processes.
In this work, we started monitoring the proteome variations associated with olive fruit development by using comparative proteomics coupled to mass spectrometry. Proteins extracted from drupes at three different developmental stages were separated on 2-DE and subjected to image analysis. 247 protein spots were revealed as differentially accumulated. Proteins were identified from a total of 121 spots and discussed in relation to olive drupe metabolic changes occurring during fruit development. In order to evaluate if changes observed at the protein level were consistent with changes of mRNAs, proteomic data produced in the present work were compared with transcriptomic data elaborated during previous studies.
This study identifies a number of proteins responsible for quality traits of cv. Coratina, with particular regard to proteins associated to the metabolism of fatty acids, phenolic and aroma compounds. Proteins involved in fruit photosynthesis have been also identified and their pivotal contribution in oleogenesis has been discussed. To date, this study represents the first characterization of the olive fruit proteome during development, providing new insights into fruit metabolism and oil accumulation process.
Olive (Olea europaea L.) is an important source of edible oil which was originated in Near-East region. In this study, two cDNA libraries were constructed from young olive leaves and immature olive fruits for generation of ESTs to discover the novel genes and search the function of unknown genes of olive. The randomly selected 3840 colonies were sequenced for EST collection from both libraries. Readable 2228 sequences for olive leaf and 1506 sequences for olive fruit were assembled into 205 and 69 contigs, respectively, whereas 2478 were singletons. Putative functions of all 2752 differentially expressed unique sequences were designated by gene homology based on BLAST and annotated using BLAST2GO. While 1339 ESTs show no homology to the database, 2024 ESTs have homology (under 80%) with hypothetical proteins, putative proteins, expressed proteins, and unknown proteins in NCBI-GenBank. 635 EST's unique genes sequence have been identified by over 80% homology to known function in other species which were not previously described in Olea family. Only 3.1% of total EST's was shown similarity with olive database existing in NCBI. This generated EST's data and consensus sequences were submitted to NCBI as valuable source for functional genome studies of olive.
PNA probes for the specific detection of DNA from olive oil samples by microarray technology were developed. The presence of as low as 5% refined hazelnut (Corylus avellana) oil in extra-virgin olive oil (Olea europaea L.) could be detected by using a PNA microarray. A set of two single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) from the Actin gene of Olive was chosen as a model for evaluating the ability of PNA probes for discriminating olive cultivars. Both unmodified and C2-modified PNAs bearing an arginine side-chain were used, the latter showing higher sequence specificity. DNA extracted from leaves of three different cultivars (Ogliarola leccese, Canino and Frantoio) could be easily discriminated using a microarray with unmodified PNA probes, whereas discrimination of DNA from oil samples was more challenging, and could be obtained only by using chiral PNA probes.
PNA; olive oil; hazelnut oil; SNP; cultivar identification; DNA fingerprinting
Background and Aims
The genus Olea (Oleaceae) includes approx. 40 taxa of evergreen shrubs and trees classified in three subgenera, Olea, Paniculatae and Tetrapilus, the first of which has two sections (Olea and Ligustroides). Olive trees (the O. europaea complex) have been the subject of intensive research, whereas little is known about the phylogenetic relationships among the other species. To clarify the biogeographical history of this group, a molecular analysis of Olea and related genera of Oleaceae is thus necessary.
A phylogeny was built of Olea and related genera based on sequences of the nuclear ribosomal internal transcribed spacer-1 and four plastid regions. Lineage divergence and the evolution of abaxial peltate scales, the latter character linked to drought adaptation, were dated using a Bayesian method.
Olea is polyphyletic, with O. ambrensis and subgenus Tetrapilus not sharing a most recent common ancestor with the main Olea clade. Partial incongruence between nuclear and plastid phylogenetic reconstructions suggests a reticulation process in the evolution of subgenus Olea. Estimates of divergence times for major groups of Olea during the Tertiary were obtained.
This study indicates the necessity of revising current taxonomic boundaries in Olea. The results also suggest that main lines of evolution were promoted by major Tertiary climatic shifts: (1) the split between subgenera Olea and Paniculatae appears to have taken place at the Miocene–Oligocene boundary; (2) the separation of sections Ligustroides and Olea may have occurred during the Early Miocene following the Mi-1 glaciation; and (3) the diversification within these sections (and the origin of dense abaxial indumentum in section Olea) was concomitant with the aridification of Africa in the Late Miocene.
Internal transcribed spacer (ITS); relaxed molecular clock; olive tree; leaf peltate scales; plastid DNA; Tertiary climatic shifts; systematics
The cultivated olive (Olea europaea L.) is the most agriculturally important species of the Oleaceae family. Although many studies have been performed on plastid polymorphisms to evaluate taxonomy, phylogeny and phylogeography of Olea subspecies, only few polymorphic regions discriminating among the agronomically and economically important olive cultivars have been identified. The objective of this study was to sequence the entire plastome of olive and analyze many potential polymorphic regions to develop new inter-cultivar genetic markers.
The complete plastid genome of the olive cultivar Frantoio was determined by direct sequence analysis using universal and novel PCR primers designed to amplify all overlapping regions. The chloroplast genome of the olive has an organisation and gene order that is conserved among numerous Angiosperm species and do not contain any of the inversions, gene duplications, insertions, inverted repeat expansions and gene/intron losses that have been found in the chloroplast genomes of the genera Jasminum and Menodora, from the same family as Olea.
The annotated sequence was used to evaluate the content of coding genes, the extent, and distribution of repeated and long dispersed sequences and the nucleotide composition pattern. These analyses provided essential information for structural, functional and comparative genomic studies in olive plastids. Furthermore, the alignment of the olive plastome sequence to those of other varieties and species identified 30 new organellar polymorphisms within the cultivated olive.
In addition to identifying mutations that may play a functional role in modifying the metabolism and adaptation of olive cultivars, the new chloroplast markers represent a valuable tool to assess the level of olive intercultivar plastome variation for use in population genetic analysis, phylogenesis, cultivar characterisation and DNA food tracking.
One of the challenge fruit growers are facing is to balance between tree production and vegetative growth from year to year. To investigate the existence of genetic determinism for reproductive behaviour in olive tree, we studied an olive segregating population derived from a cross between ‘Olivière’ and ‘Arbequina’ cultivars. Our strategy was based on (i) an annual assessment of individual trees yield, and (ii) a decomposition of adult growth units at the crown periphery into quantitative variables related to both flowering and fruiting process in relation to their growth and branching. Genetic models, including the year, genotype effects and their interactions, were built with variance function and correlation structure of residuals when necessary. Among the progeny, trees were either ‘ON’ or ‘OFF’ for a given year and patterns of regular vs. irregular bearing were revealed. Genotype effect was significant on yield but not for flowering traits at growth unit (GU) scale, whereas the interaction between genotype and year was significant for both traits. A strong genetic effect was found for all fruiting traits without interaction with the year. Based on the new constructed genetic map, QTLs with small effects were detected, revealing multigenic control of the studied traits. Many were associated to alleles from ‘Arbequina’. Genetic correlations were found between Yield and Fruit set at GU scale suggesting a common genetic control, even though QTL co-localisations were in spe`cific years only. Most QTL were associated to flowering traits in specific years, even though reproductive traits at GU scale did not capture the bearing status of the trees in a given year. Results were also interpreted with respect to ontogenetic changes of growth and branching, and an alternative sampling strategy was proposed for capturing tree fruiting behaviour. Regular bearing progenies were identified and could constitute innovative material for selection programs.
Recent studies have shown that reactive oxygen species (ROS) and nitric oxide (NO) are involved in the signalling processes taking place during the interactions pollen-pistil in several plants. The olive tree (Olea europaea L.) is an important crop in Mediterranean countries. It is a dicotyledonous species, with a certain level of self-incompatibility, fertilisation preferentially allogamous, and with an incompatibility system of the gametophytic type not well determined yet. The purpose of the present study was to determine whether relevant ROS and NO are present in the stigmatic surface and other reproductive tissues in the olive over different key developmental stages of the reproductive process. This is a first approach to find out the putative function of these signalling molecules in the regulation of the interaction pollen-stigma.
The presence of ROS and NO was analyzed in the olive floral organs throughout five developmental stages by using histochemical analysis at light microscopy, as well as different fluorochromes, ROS and NO scavengers and a NO donor by confocal laser scanning microscopy. The "green bud" stage and the period including the end of the "recently opened flower" and the "dehiscent anther" stages displayed higher concentrations of the mentioned chemical species. The stigmatic surface (particularly the papillae and the stigma exudate), the anther tissues and the pollen grains and pollen tubes were the tissues accumulating most ROS and NO. The mature pollen grains emitted NO through the apertural regions and the pollen tubes. In contrast, none of these species were detected in the style or the ovary.
The results obtained clearly demonstrate that both ROS and NO are produced in the olive reproductive organs in a stage- and tissue- specific manner. The biological significance of the presence of these products may differ between early flowering stages (defence functions) and stages where there is an intense interaction between pollen and pistil which may determine the presence of a receptive phase in the stigma. The study confirms the enhanced production of NO by pollen grains and tubes during the receptive phase, and the decrease in the presence of ROS when NO is actively produced.
Pollens from different olive (Olea europaea L.) cultivars have been shown to differ significantly in their content in Ole e 1 and in their overall allergenicity. This allergen is, in addition, characterized by a high degree of polymorphism in its sequence. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the putative presence of divergences in Ole e 1 sequences from different olive cultivars.
RNA from pollen individually collected from 10 olive cultivars was used to amplify Ole e 1 sequences by RT-PCR, and the sequences were analyzed by using different bioinformatics tools. Numerous nucleotide substitutions were detected throughout the sequences, many of which resulted in amino acid substitutions in the deduced protein sequences. In most cases variability within a single variety was much lower than among varieties. Key amino acid changes in comparison with "canonical" sequences previously described in the literature included: a) the substitution of C19-relevant to the disulphide bond structure of the protein-, b) the presence of an additional N-glycosylation motif, and c) point substitutions affecting regions of Ole e 1 already described like relevant for the immunogenicity/allergenicity of the protein.
Varietal origin of olive pollen is a major factor determining the diversity of Ole e 1 variants. We consider this information of capital importance for the optimal design of efficient and safe allergen formulations, and useful for the genetic engineering of modified forms of the allergen among other applications.