Breeding of olive varieties for different orchard forms, uses and disease resistance. Olive training for mechanization. Optimization of irrigation requirements. Self and cross pollination.
Abstracts of Current Research;
Cross breeding of olives for tree form for both table and oil olives, a progeny of about 4000 crosses and self pollinated offsprings are presently growing and monitored. Identification ofDNA sections related to cycloconium resistance based on RAPD-PCR analysis of different progenies is being performed. Genetic segregation regarding fruit coloration and oil accumulation is studied using indicator clones of the breeding program. Salinity resistance of cultivars and crossed progenies is being determined in controlled saline solutions. A study of interaction between salinity and verticilium wilt is showing varital differences particularly in relation to tree age.
Sigma XI, Israel Botanical Society, Israel Tissue Culture Association, American Society of Horticultural Science, Scandinavian Society of Plant Physiologists, International Association of Plant Tissue and Cell Culture, International Society for Horticultural Science, The Biblical Fruit Society of Israel.
Honors and awards
- Scientist of the year award Volcani Center - 1971.
- Honorary Award for olive Research - Spain 1972.
- Wilson Popence Award for best paper in evergreens Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci. - 1982.
- Elected member of the Italian Academy for olive - 1986.
- Elected corresponding member of the Italian Academy for grapevine - 1990.
- Breeders Award the Ministry of Agriculture Israel for cv. Bamea - 1991.
- Elected Fellow of the American Society for Horticultural Science - 1994.
- Elected corresponding member of the Academia Georgofili, Italy - 2000.
Representative articles and research interests:
The study on the floral biology of the olive indicated that the number of flowers and distribution of inflorescences have only a minor effect on the amount of developing fruits on the tree. Lavee, S., Rallo, L., Rapaport, H.F. and Troncoso, A. (1996). The floral biology of the olive. 1. Effect offlower number, type and distribution in fruit set. Scientia Hortic. 66: 149-158 and II. The effect of inflorescence load and distribution per shoot on fruit set and load. Scientia Hortic. 82: 181-192 (1999).
Breeding for resistance to Cycloconium yielded a field resistant variety. Lavee, S., Harshemesh, H., Haskal, A., Meni, Y Wodner M., Ogrodovich, A., Avidan, B Wiesman, Z., Avidan, N. and Trapero, A. (1999).
'Maalot' a new orchard resistance cultivar to Peacock eye leaf spot (Spilocaea oleagina cast.). Olivae 51-59. (also in Hebrew, Alon HaNotea 53: 446-452). Initial molecular studies revealed specific DNA segments in correlation with the resistance to the disease. Merkuria, G.T., Collins, G Lavee, S., Sedgley, M. (2001).
Identification of genetic markers in olive linked to olive spot resistance and susceptibility. J. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci. 126: 305-308. Merkuria, G.T., Sedgley, M Lavee, S. and Collins, G. Development of a sequence tagged site for the RAPD marker linked to leaf spot resistance in olive. J. Amer. Soc. Hortic. Sci. (accepted for publication). The interaction Rootstock/scion in relation to the level of orchard intensification in olive showed that the rootstock has a minor effect on tree performance in all levels of intensification regardless of the varietal combination tested. Lavee, S. and Shachtel, J. (1999).
Interaction of cultivar rootstock and water availability on olive tree performance and fruit production. Acta Hortic. 474: 399-401.