Plants (Basel). 2022 May 20;11(10):1367. doi: 10.3390/plants11101367.
Olive (Olea europaea L.) is an evergreen xerophytic tree characterizing vegetative landscape and historical-cultural identity of the Mediterranean Basin. More than 2600 cultivars constitute the rich genetic patrimony of the species cultivated in approximately 60 countries. As a subtropical species, the olive tree is quite sensitive to low temperatures, and air temperature is the most critical environmental factor limiting olive tree growth and production. In this present review, we explored the detrimental effects caused of low temperatures on olive cultivars, and analyzed the most frequently experimental procedures used to evaluate cold stress. Then, current findings freezing stress physiology and gene are summarized in olive tree, with an emphasis on adaptive mechanisms for cold tolerance. This review might clear the way for new research on adaptive mechanisms for cold acclimation and for improvement of olive growing management.