The Emilia region (Northern Italy) is characterised by the occurrence of microclimates that permit olive growing. The presence of the species, albeit sporadic, in these territories for several centuries as a fruit crop is well documented, by both archaeological and written testimony, and by a large number of plants well over a century old, located in particular sites, favourable for growth and development of the tree. Olive genetic diversity was studied using RAPD and SSR techniques, on plants growing in the Emilia territory (Reggio Emilia and Parma provinces). For genotype identification comparisons were made with 8 cultivars, some of which from Central Italy. Screening was obtained analysing patterns produced by 20 RAPD primers and 3 SSR primers, developed by other authors; the primers and we were able to discriminate olive cultivars with a sufficient degree of reliability. The dendrograms obtained from the analysis show the genetic relationship among accessions present in the Parma-Reggio Emilia district. Our results demonstrated the reliability of RAPDs and SSRs to identify all studied olive cultivars and to reveal the degree of their relatedness to each other. The analysis also reveals the presence of an interesting amount of genetic diversity among the studied individuals.
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