Olea europaea L., which is one of the ancient culture species cultivated in the Mediterranean area, has approximately 1200 cultivars. Its wild thype forms from O. europaea subsp. europaea var. sylvestris and its culture type forms from O. europaea subsp. europaea var. europaea. Olive cultivation is multiplied by grafting or cutting whereas wild type olive seedlings derived from seeds of O. europaea L. var. sylvestris. Because they have very big level heterozygosities, the genetic diversity of olive cultivars is quite high that they are predominantly allogamus. This genetic variability causes many confusions for identification of olive cultivars and since both oil quality and olive productivity are traits inherited to a variety, it is urgently needed to solve characterization and evaluation of olive genetic resources. The molecular marker systems are independent from environmental factors and effective technology to both detect homonymous and synonymous of cultivars and identify olive varieties. The current review is aimed to present molecular marker systems for identification and characterization of olive cultivars and emphasize their application for conservation of olive germplasm.
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