The Andalusian Agricultural and Fisheries Research and Training Institute (Ifapa) has presented at the Community Plant Variety Office three new varieties of olive tree that are especially recommended in areas with high risk of verticillosis, since they present greater resistance to this disease. Specifically, one of these new types of olive tree comes from the ‘Koroneiki’ variety and the other two are the result of the cross between ‘Frantoio’ and ‘Arbosana’.
In addition, these trees obtained thanks to the work of the professionals of this body dependent on the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Sustainable Development have other interesting agronomic characteristics for obtaining olive oil such as, for example, high productivity and high fat yield.
This discovery is part of the ‘Inmegeo’ project, focused on the genetic improvement of the olive tree and which is directed from the facilities of the Alameda del Obispo center (Córdoba). This research and innovation initiative is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (Feder).
Olive verticillosis, a disease caused by a soil fungus (Verticillium dahliae Kleb), currently represents the greatest phytopathological risk in numerous olive grove areas, including important producing areas of Andalusia. Given that one of the most recommended measures for the control of this disease is to bet on varieties of greater resistance, from Ifapa, farmers and companies of the olive grove sector of the Autonomous Community are encouraged to contact this public body to participate in the project by adhering its exploitation to the experimentation areas.
In order to obtain the new varieties, it has been necessary to comply with a complex procedure started with the crossing of the initial (parental) varieties and which, after the selection and final registration of the new types of olive tree, must be completed with a series of directed tests to check the effectiveness in the field. In order to analyze the behavior of the new materials in the face of the disease, the Ifapa technicians will carry out inoculation tests under controlled conditions, analysis in artificially inoculated microplots and field tests under natural conditions.