Publications des agents du Cirad


Genetic improvement of coconut palms

Baudouin L.. 1999. In : Oropeza C. (ed.), Verdeil J.L. (ed.), Ashburner G.R. (ed.), Cardena R. (ed.), Santamaria J.M. (ed.); CICY. Current advances in coconut biotechnology = [Progrès actuels en biotechnologie du cocotier]. Dordrecht : Kluwer Academic Publishers, p. 45-56. (Current Plant Science and Biotechnology in Agriculture, 35). International Symposium on Coconut Biotechnology, 1997-12-01/1997-12-05, Merida (Mexique).

The use of biotechnologies will benefit to coconut breeding, only if their application is associated with efficient conventional breeding procedures. This paper is intended to summarise the main principles of coconut breeding and their expected evolution. The constraints set by the low multiplication rate of coconut are underlined and the different types of varietal outputs are presented. The main steps of coconut breeding from germplasm collection to varietal output, are described; the Recurrent Reciprocal Selection scheme is proposed as a way to integrate those different steps for long term genetic progress is underlined. The incidence of biotechnologies to improve the efficiency at each step is discussed. Molecular diversity studies are an efficient tool for germplasm management, in connexion with field evaluation. Genetic distances could be a useful guide in order to maximise heterosis and selectable variation. Associated with field evaluation, the construction of linkage maps will allow the localisation of major genes and the identification of QTLS. The setup of an efficient vegetative propagation method will in turn make it possible to widely distribute the best genotypes, selected either through conventional breeding or through marker assisted selection.

Mots-clés : cocos nucifera; germplasm; amélioration des plantes; biotechnologie végétale; variété; sélection; collection botanique; multiplication des plantes

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