Removal of flowers or inflorescences affects ‘Barnea’ olive fruitlet post-anthesis abscission

S. Goldental-Cohen, I. Biton, Y. Many, K. Tavrizov, A. M. Dourou, H. Zemach, P. Tonutti, Z. Kerem, B. Avidan, O. Sperling, G. Ben-Ari*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


A typical olive (Olea europaea L.) inflorescence consists of about 20 flowers. However, in many cultivars, only one fruit develops. This is due to massive abscission of flowers and fruitlets, which occurs during the first month after anthesis. In this study, we used the olive cultivar 'Barnea' to characterize the abscission mechanism and to try to increase fruit set by increasing the number of developed fruit per inflorescence. Removing the lateral flowers 3 weeks before anthesis increased fruit set by more than 50%. Removing all inflorescences but one from a branch increased the number of developed fruits from 0.93 to 2.8 during 2017 and from 0.91 to 3.34 fruits per inflorescence in 2018. Sugar quantification in the pistil revealed that starch level is high on the day of anthesis and low 25 days later in abscised as well as in developed fruit. Soluble carbohydrates are low on the day of anthesis, low in abscised flowers/fruitlets 25 days after anthesis and high in developed fruit. Screening the natural variation found in the Israeli germplasm collection revealed that in most cultivars less than one fruit per inflorescence has developed. However, there are unique cultivars with a higher fruit set.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)488-498
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Horticultural Science and Biotechnology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 4 Jul 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, © 2018 The Journal of Horticultural Science & Biotechnology Trust.


  • Olea europaea
  • carbohydrates
  • fruitlet abscission
  • inflorescence


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