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J Agric Food Chem. 2006 Nov 29;54(24):9221-6.

Non-concordance between genetic profiles of olive oil and fruit: a cautionary note to the use of DNA markers for provenance testing.

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Crop Genetics Group, NIAB, Huntingdon Road, Cambridge CB3 0LE, United Kingdom.


To investigate the contribution of paternal alleles to the DNA content of olive oil, genetic analyses of olive DNA samples from fruits, leaves, and oil derived from the same tree (cv. Leccino) were carried out. DNA extracted from maternal tissues--leaves and flesh--from different fruits showed identical genetic profiles using a set of DNA markers. Additional simple sequence repeat (SSR) alleles, not found in the maternal samples, were amplified in the embryos (stone), and they were also detected in DNA extracted from the paste obtained by crushing whole fruits and from the oil pressed from this material. These results demonstrate that the DNA profile obtained from olive oil is likely to represent a composite profile of the maternal alleles juxtaposed with alleles contributed by various pollen donors. Therefore, care needs to be taken in the interpretation of DNA profiles obtained from DNA extracted from oil for resolving provenance and authenticity issues.

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