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Crop Biotech Update

Scientists Work on Preserving the Sahara Olive Tree

May 15, 2013

Laperinne's olive tree, the Saharan cousin of Mediterranean olive tree, remains largely unknown, but researchers from France's Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD) and their partners are working on a conservation program to prevent the gradual erosion of its genetic diversity. The researchers learned that its longevity was ensured by its original vegetative reproduction. Considered a 'relict' tree, the Sahara olive tree is extremely drought resistant and could be an excellent genetic resource to improve its domestic counterparts. IRD researchers are looking into the ecology and evolutionary history of the Laperrine's olive tree to better identify the dangers facing this tree, and establish the priorities for conservation programs.

Learn more about this tree at http://en.ird.fr/the-media-centre/scientific-newssheets/428-the-sahara-olive-tree-a-genetic-heritage-to-be-preserved.