Obtaining genomic data:
- will contribute to greatly improve knowledge about the biology of the species, which, in the not too distant future, can be used to plan more rational and sustainable agronomic management strategies. As a matter of fact, a further knowledge of the olive tree physiology represents an essential requirement to properly plan economic management in the field.
- will make it possible to create the necessary conditions to individuate genes playing a key role in important biological processes, like the mechanisms behind resistance to both biotic and abiotic stresses, plant development, flowering, fruit ripening etc.
The transcriptome analysis:
- will make it possible to find genes expressed in the reference variety Leccino, providing important information necessary to assemble and annotate the genome, and at the same time representing a starting point to acquire further knowledge about the mechanisms behind the expression of characters of interest.
The construction of new genetic maps starting from segregating populations:
- will make it possible to anchor scaffolds to the genetic map,
- will facilitate the identification of important quantitative characters (QTLs), that are used in assisted breeding, in the process of choosing the parentals as well as in selecting the offspring.
A more and more detailed knowledge about gene structures, functions, how they interact with one another and with the environment is necessary to address innovative genetic improvements approaches aiming to obtain new, highly productive, low management cost and with low environmental impact high-quality varieties.
In fact, a deep knowledge of the mechanisms behind gene expression variability of a given character in relation to the environment and/or in response to environmental changes, as well as defining the genetic control of a species/variety, are the key to success in all genetic improvement programs.
The knowledge of the architecture and the organisation of the genome:
- will facilitate the isolation of the single genes, as well as their characterization and further regulation studies,
- will make it possible to make a highly specific use of them for biotechnological and classic breeding applications.
In the next ten years, the project will reasonably result in a speeding up of the olive tree genetic improvement, because of the introduction of an extremely elevated number of molecular markers.
Moreover, an increasingly fast individuation and selection of ‘superior’ characters will make it possible to give new impetus to the advancement of the modern biotechnologies applied to the olive tree.