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Olive ( Olea europaea L.) orchard plantings have increased in Texas over the past 10 to 15 years primarily southwest of San Antonio and in the Hill Country ( Stein et al., 2013 ). Olives have historically been produced under dryland conditions with

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Backpropagation neural networks (BPNNs) were used to distinguish among 10 olive (Olea europaea L.) cultivars, originating throughout the Mediterranean basin. Identification was performed on the basis of 17 phyllometric parameters resulting from image analysis. Different BPNN architectures were attempted and best performance was achieved using a 17 × 20 × 10 BPNN. Networks were tested with sets of phyllometric parameters not involved in the training phase. Results enabled identification with certainty all cultivars tested.

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The olive ( Olea europaea L.) is an evergreen tree that has been cultivated from ancient times. It occupies a surface of around 10 million hectares all over the world, of which only around 10% is irrigated. It is a species adapted to adverse

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Abstract

An olive rootstock planting was established in Tulare County, California in 1954 using 10 different rootstocks with ‘Sevillano’ as the scion variety. Verticillium wilt, a major problem in California olive production, became strongly established in this planting, affecting trees on the different rootstocks to a markedly different degree. All trees on 2 of the rootstocks, Olea ferruginea Royle and Forestiera neo-mexicana Gray were killed. No trees on a clonal rootstock, Olea europaea, ‘Oblonga’ were affected, while trees on the 7 other rootstocks showed intermediate survival percentages. Over a 15-year period, tree size and yields were influenced by the rootstock. ‘Sevillano’ trees, on their own roots, were the smallest as measured by trunk cross section area. There was no pronounced effect of rootstock on fruit size.

In another olive planting in Tulare County, California, the effect of various interstocks, inserted during a top-working operation, on the behavior of the scion cultivar was determined. No Verticillium wilt was apparent in any of the trees in this experiment. Each of 3 genetically dwarfed clonal stocks caused a significant dwarfing influence on the scion cultivar and a reduction in yields, in comparison with the scion cultivar itself used as an interstock. No influence on fruit size occurred. Similar results were noted with Olea chrysophylla Lamk. as an interstock but with severe constriction of the interstock tissue.

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Seventeen olive (Olea europaea L.) cultivars, including oil and table olive cultivars originating from throughout the Mediterranean area, were screened using random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) markers. The results indicate that a high degree of polymorphism is evident in the olive germplasm reexamined. Forty random decamer primers were screened; seventeen of these produced 47 reproducible amplification fragments useful as polymorphic markers. Each of the 17 cultivars can be discriminated with a few primers. Results were analyzed for similarity among the cultivars and a cluster analysis was performed. These analyses revealed two main groups: one comprising primarily small-fruited cultivars grown mainly for oil production, and the other characterized by having large fruit. There was no apparent clustering of olive cultivars according to their geographic origins.

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Olive plants for commercial production are vegetatively propagated by cutting and grafting. While genetic identity can be maintained by “own root”; plants by cutting, the grafted plants may show different growth characteristics due to the influence of the rootstock. The selection of mother plants, able to produce seeds with desirable characteristics and rootstocks that may control seedling growth in grafted stock, can be an objective of study to facilitate the development of olive breeding programmes. The relationship between seed biomass, mineral nutrient reserves, time to germination and seedling growth was analysed for six cultivars of Olea europaea. The cultivars, exhibiting initial differences in seed biomass, differed significantly with respect to germination capacity, germination time and mineral content. Significant variation among cultivars was also evident in the linear growth of seedlings, evaluated at different intervals from 2 to 30 weeks. The seeds from all six cultivars exhibited low germination. There is a significant effect of cultivar on the levels of single mineral nutrient content of seeds, high concentrations of N and significant concentrations of K, P, Mg, and Ca were detected. Seed biomass was not related to time to germination and the levels of single nutrients of the seeds themselves. For seed tissue, significantly positive correlations existed only between K, and Mg concentrations. Seed biomass was positively and significantly related to root biomass. The seedlings obtained from larger seeds showed a substantially greater proportion of biomass to roots. Some root traits may be important for survival and the establishment of the seedlings, not least under conditions of limited water availability.

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Fruit set assessment is currently the most commonly used method to test cross-compatibility among olive ( Olea europaea L.) cultivars, thus identifying the best pollenizers ( Androulakis and Loupassaki, 1990 ; Camposeo et al., 2012 ; Cuevas et al

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Acta Hort. 791 271 274 Castillo-Llanque, F. Rapoport, H.F. 2011 Relationship between reproductive behavior and new shoot development in 5-year-old branches of olive trees ( Olea europaea L.) Trees 25 823 832 Chandler, W.H. Heinicke, A.J. 1926 The

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three determinations. Values into parentheses represent maturity index (MI). The obtained analytical data concerning oleuropein concentration in Olea europaea L. fruits and leaves are shown in Figure 2 . The data confirmed that olive fruits and leaves

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different olive growing areas in Italy Acta Hort. 1057 341 348 Castillo-Llanque, F. Rapoport, H.F. 2011 Relationship between reproductive behavior and new shoot development in 5-year-old branches of olive trees ( Olea europaea L.) Trees (Berl.) 25 823 832

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