Biotech Research for Profitable Cultivation of Palm Trees
Researchers at India's Centre for Plantation Crops Research Institute (CPCRI) have used biotechnology to achieve a breakthrough in distinguishing between male and female palmyrah plants in the nursery. The palms are slow growing perennial and have no distinguishing features to identify the sex until flowering, which is usually after 12 to 15 years. Using the molecular marker technology, Random Amplified Polymorphic DNA (RAPD) technique, DNA segments linked to sex determination in dioecious palmyrah were identified.
Palmyrah produces sweet sap from the inflorescence, toddy, palm sugar, brush fibre and wood, irrespective of whether the palms are male or female. However, differences in their yield or quality have been reported and female palms are supposed to yield more toddy on tapping from the inflorescence, and gives better and harder timber than male tree, thus more expensive. In addtion, a great majority of its economic products such as immature endosperm, mesocarp pulp, tuberous seedlings are obtained only from female palms. It is therefore important to have an early identification of female plants in plantation development.
For full research paper titled "Identification of RAPD markers linked to sex determination in palmyrah (Borassus flabellifer L.)" published in Journal Current Science is available at http://www.ias.ac.in/currsci/oct252007/1075.pdf or for detail contact author of the article Dr. Anitha Karun at email@example.com For more information about biotech development in India contact: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com
This article is part of the Crop Biotech Update, a weekly summary of world developments in agri-biotech for developing countries, produced by the Global Knowledge Center on Crop Biotechnology, International Service for the Aquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications SEAsiaCenter (ISAAA)