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The expected and observed characteristics of several oil palm (Elaeis guineensis Jacq.) clones

Nouy B., Jacquemard J.C., Suryana E., Potier F., Konan K.E., Durand-Gasselin T.. 2006. In : IOPRI. International Oil Palm Conference (IOPC), Bali, Indonesia, 19-23 June 2006. s.l. : s.n., 17 p.. International Oil Palm Conference, 2006-06-19/2006-06-23, Bali (Indonésie).

Ortets were selected from excellent progenies studied at the La Mé and Aek Kwasan research stations. The clones obtained from these ortets were evaluated in direct or indirect comparative trials with their original cross and with sexual crosses from new breeding cycles. The observations made so far show that the clones present the same characteristics as the ortets in terms of mesocarp/fruit, oil/mesocarp and, to a lesser extent, fruit/bunch. The production of FFB at a young age was not as good as that of the ortets: that can be due to low heritability. However, given the low selection pressure and limited heritability, FFB yield seems to be similar for clones and the original crosses. The clones' level of production seems to improve after 6 years. Nevertheless, some clones had exceptional production characteristics. Are these clones really the exact replica of the original ortets? The observations showed that the trees were apparently normal and presented no visibly discernable "mantled" or vegetative anomalies. However, it is possible that there were epigenetic modifications as a result of the process of in vitro culture, which could have affected other parts of the genome. An example is given for one clone in which the recloning of two individuals produced two theoretically identical groups of palms: there bunches had significantly different characteristics, such as average weight and percentage of fruit on the bunch. In general, the low production of bunch and the percentage of fruit on the bunch (although relative), could be due to "silent" epigenetic anomalies. The method and the strategy of cloning are also questionable.

Mots-clés : elaeis guineensis; clone; trouble génétique; sélection; culture in vitro; plante mère; ortet; conformité des plantes

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