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Maria Susana Lopes, Duarte Mendonça, Kristina M. Sefc, Fabíola Sabino Gil and Artur da Câmara Machado

A collection of 130 olive samples, originating from diverse areas in Europe and corresponding to 67 different cultivars denominations, was genotyped at 14 microsatellite loci. In total, 135 alleles with a mean number of 9.6 alleles per locus were detected. All but 30 accessions showed unique genotypes. Several cases of synonymy listed in the FAO database of olive germplasm could not be confirmed, as different allelic profiles were obtained from putatively synonymous cultivars. The existence of homonyms or mislabeled samples in olive germplasm collections was evidenced by allele differences of up to 60% between samples of the same denomination. An allele-sharing phenogram of the analyzed genotypes revealed several cultivars with high levels of intra-varietal polymorphism, as well as cultivar families consisting of closely related cultivars with similar denominations. Our work shows that the current designations of olive cultivars fall short of describing the genetic variability among economically important plant material. A thorough investigation of the existing variability will prove of major importance for both management and economic production of olive trees.

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Vicente Gimeno, James P. Syvertsen, Inma Simon, Vicente Martinez, Jose M. Camara-Zapata, Manuel Nieves and Francisco Garcia-Sanchez

Previous work on citrus trees has shown that an interstock, grafted between the rootstock and scion combination, not only can improve tree growth, longevity, fruit production, and quality, but also can increase salinity tolerance. This research was designed to evaluate flooding responses of 2-year-old ‘Verna’ lemon trees [Citrus limon (L.) Burm.; VL] either grafted on ‘Sour’ orange (C. aurantium L.; SO) rootstock without an interstock (VL/SO) or interstocked with ‘Valencia’ orange (C. sinensis Osbeck;VL/V/SO) or with ‘Castellano’ orange (C. sinensis Osbeck; VL/C/SO). Well-watered and fertilized trees were grown under greenhouse conditions and half were flooded for 9 days. At the end of the flooded period, leaf water relations, leaf gas exchange, chlorophyll fluorescence parameters, mineral nutrition, organic solutes, and carbohydrate concentrations were measured. Leaf water potential (Ψw), relative water content (RWC), net CO2 assimilation rate (ACO2), and stomatal conductance (g S) were decreased by flooding in all the trees but the greatest decreases occurred in VL/V/SO. The Ci/Ca (leaf internal CO2 to ambient CO2 ratio), Fv/Fo (potential activity of PSII) and Fv/Fm (maximum quantum efficiency) ratios were similar in flooded and non-flooded VL/SO and VL/C/SO trees but were decreased in VL/V/SO trees by flooding. Regardless of interstock, flooding increased root calcium (Ca), iron (Fe), copper (Cu), and manganese (Mn) concentration but decreased nitrogen (N) and potassium (K) concentration. Based on the leaf water relations, gas exchange, and chlorophyll parameters, ‘Verna’ lemon trees interstocked with ‘Valencia’ orange had the least flooding tolerance. Regardless of interstock, the detrimental effect of flooding in ‘Verna’ lemon trees was the leaf dehydration which decreased ACO2 as a result of non-stomatal factors. Lowered ACO2 did not decrease the leaf carbohydrate concentration. Flooding decreased root starch in all trees but more so in VL/V/SO trees. Sugars were decreased by flooding in roots of interstocked trees but were increased by flooding in VL/SO roots suggesting that the translocation of carbohydrates from shoots to roots under flooded condition was impaired in interstocked trees.

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V. Fernández-Ruiz, M.C. Sánchez-Mata, M. Cámara, M.E. Torija, C. Chaya, L. Galiana-Balaguer, S. Roselló and F. Nuez

The characterization of Lycopersicon germplasm for internal quality properties is essential to choose suitable donor parents for breeding programs. When donor parents belong to species of subgenus Eulycopersicon, which are phyletically closer to L. esculentum Mill., the recovery of agronomic traits is faster. When using these materials, a careful selection of donor parents which could improve several internal quality properties allows the acceleration of these breeding programs. In this work, we combine general determinations, such as soluble solid content, titratable acidity, pH, total sugars, pectic substances and total protein contents with precise high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), quantitations of individual compounds (vitamin C; citric, malic, fumaric and oxalic acids; glucose, fructose, and sucrose), in order to obtain a more complete characterization of flavor intensity and nutritional properties in Lycopersicon germplasm. The multidimensional analysis of all these variables allows classification of several accessions of L. esculentum Mill. and L. pimpinellifolium (Jusl.) Mill., according to their usefulness for internal quality breeding programs of fresh tomato. The classification obtained and the comparison of accessions quality characteristics with selected controls show that five of the L. pimpinellifolium (Jusl.) Mill. accessions tested can be of great usefulness for being used in breeding for internal quality characteristics. A flavor intensity ≈625% higher than commercial hybrids was obtained in the best accession tested. Some of these L. pimpinellifolium (Jusl.) Mill. accessions showed better flavor intensity properties than a high SSC L. cheesmanii Riley control, traditionally used in internal quality breeding. In addition, three of the L. esculentum Mill. accessions tested with medium-to-high flavor intensity value could be useful in advanced stages of breeding programs.