Preliminary characterization and morph-agronomic evaluation of millennium olive varieties in Tunisia

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Research Paper 01/08/2013
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Preliminary characterization and morph-agronomic evaluation of millennium olive varieties in Tunisia

Mnasri Rahmani Sameh, Saddoud Debbabi Olfa, Ferchichi Ali
J. Bio. Env. Sci.3( 8), 150-155, August 2013.
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Tunisia is one of the oldest agricultural settlements in history. Evidences revealed by archeological excavations indicated that olives were cultivated before about 3000 years in Tunisia. Although the importance of millennium olives, studies about characterization and evaluation are scarce. The aims of this work were to make a morpho-agronomic characterization of eighteen millennium olive cultivars collected from eight different archeological sites. This work was conducted in the framework of the activities of the fruit tree network in the Tunisian National Gene Bank. Quantitative and qualitative traits were measured in pit, fruit and leaf samples, In order to group the genetic material and evaluate the phenotypic variability, descriptive statistics, cluster analysis, factorial and principal components analysis were used. The 18 accessions were grouped in 2 clusters based on the multivariate analysis of 18 traits. The collection featured phenotypic variability for all the studied traits, especially for the fruit and endocarp parameters. Principal components analysis conducted on quantitative and qualitative traits showed an important degree of variability of about 81.41% for the two first principal components and the factorial analysis was conducted for quantitative data and revealed 79.25% of the total diversity for the two first factors. The phenotypic diversity observed among the millennium cultivars suggests a high genetic potential of this heritage and confirmed the urgency to protect the specimens studied cultivars.


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