Banco Santander donates uncatalogued olive varieties for the Germplasm Bank of Córdoba

Banco Santander donates uncatalogued olive varieties for the Germplasm Bank of Córdoba

2019/22/02 - Banco Santander has donated to the University of Córdoba (UCO) a collection of olive seedlings corresponding to uncatalogued millenary varieties for their characterization and conservation in the Olive Germplasm Bank.
As reported by the Cordovan educational center, these are plants obtained from the centenary olive trees of the collection that Banco Santander has in the financial city of Boadilla del Monte (Madrid) in which the UCO has been working since 2013 identifying the varieties to which the trees that Emilio Botín himself started collecting belong.

Until now, the agreement between Banco Santander and the UCOLIVO group of the Cordovan institution has allowed the characterization of more than 200 centennial and millenary olive trees. Thanks to the assignment signed yesterday, the "descendants" of these trees will be planted on the Rabanales Campus of the University, where more than half of the 1,200 varieties of olive trees that exist in the world are conserved.

The work of varietal identification carried out in Boadilla del Monte has been led by the professors of the Higher Technical School of Agricultural Engineering and Forestry (ETSIAM) Concepción Muñoz and Diego Barranco, both members of the Department of Agronomy of the UCO.

The research staff involved in this project has applied both morphological and molecular markers for the analysis of a total of 200 olive trees in the collection. Most of these specimens have been identified with known varieties, the most frequent being Farga and Lechín de Granada.

The studies have revealed three outstanding aspects: the identity of nine known varieties that are probably among the oldest olive varieties; the high frequency of grafting on wild olive trees in ancient times; and the existence of millenarian varieties not cataloged to date.

These uncataloged millenarian varieties are those that have been donated to the University by Banco Santander for its conservation and agronomic characterization. The contrasted resistance of these trees over time makes them magnificent candidates for the study of adaptive characters that could be key to the improvement and sustainability of the crop, according to the University.

Banco Santander has also donated to the UCO a copy of an olive tree from the "Farga" tree that is more than 1,200 years old, from which the first olive genome was sequenced, for its incorporation into the Olive Germplasm Bank located on the Rabanales farm.
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