ABSTRACT The olive is widely cropped in Tunisia where also oleaster trees thrive all around orchards and in natural sites. Little is known on the genetic relationships between the olive crop and oleaster trees in Tunisia. Fifty-two oleaster trees and fifteen cultivars were sampled from Tunisia. SSR genotyping was performed in polyacrylamide gels after fluorescent labeling. We used seven nuclear and two chloroplast SSR markers. AFC analyses showed close genetic relationships between cultivated and oleaster trees. Genetic relationships were also displayed in a dendrogram based on Unweighted Pair Group Method (UPGMA). Five clusters were defined mixing cultivar and oleaster trees suggesting close relationship between some cultivar and some oleaster trees. One oleaster is single in a cluster. The chlorotype SSR markers show probably three olive origins. Some cultivars have the CE chlorotype originates from the East of the Mediterranean basin, the CCK haplotype originates from Maghreb and the COM chlorotype originates from West Mediterranean. The cultivars were 1) introduced from the East; 2) selected in the West; 3) or selected in the North Africa region. The Tunisian oleaster trees carry eastern and western Mediterranean chlorotype CCK, COM and CE.
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