Bioactive Potential of Minor Italian Olive Genotypes from Apulia, Sardinia and Abruzzo

Foods. 2021 Jun 14;10(6):1371. doi: 10.3390/foods10061371.


This research focuses on the exploration, recovery and valorization of some minor Italian olive cultivars, about which little information is currently available. Autochthonous and unexplored germplasm has the potential to face unforeseen changes and thus to improve the sustainability of the whole olive system. A pattern of nine minor genotypes cultivated in three Italian regions has been molecularly fingerprinted with 12 nuclear microsatellites (SSRs), that were able to unequivocally identify all genotypes. Moreover, some of the principal phenolic compounds were determined and quantified in monovarietal oils and the expression levels of related genes were also investigated at different fruit developmental stages. Genotypes differed to the greatest extent in the content of oleacein (3,4-DHPEA-EDA) and total phenols. Thereby, minor local genotypes, characterized by stable production and resilience in a low-input agro-system, can provide a remarkable contribution to the improvement of the Italian olive production chain and can become very profitable from a socio-economic point of view.

Keywords: Olea europaea; autochthonous cultivars; fruit developmental stages; gene expression; molecular fingerprinting; polyphenol content.