Analysis on Fruit Oil Content and Evaluation on Germplasm in Oil Palm

in HortScience

Fruit oil content (FOC) is one of the most important commercial traits in oil palm; however, extensive study on related traits is still limited. The present study was conducted to analyze the relationship between FOC and fruit-related traits, as well as to predict the oil palm germplasm for potential improvement. In this study, a total of 11 traits, including fruit bunch number (FBN), average fruit weight (AFW), mesocarp-to-fruit ratio (M/F), kernel-to-fruit ratio (K/F), shell-to-fruit ratio (S/F), average fruit length (AFL), average fruit width (AFWD), average shell thickness (AST), mesocarp oil content (MOC), kernel oil content (KOC), and FOC were analyzed in 39 germplasms collected from seven different countries in Asia and Africa. Different statistical analyses were conducted to evaluate the relationship between FOC and fruit-related traits. Correlation analysis showed that FOC was positively and significantly correlated with M/F, MOC, and KOC, whereas negatively and significantly correlated with S/F and AST. Likewise, path analysis indicated that M/F and MOC have high positive direct effect on FOC, whereas S/F and AST have high negative direct and indirect effects on FOC. Furthermore, regression analysis showed significant correlation between predicted and observed FOC. In conclusion, FOC was mainly determined by M/F, MOC, S/F, and AST, and the FOC prediction in this study was reliable for germplasm evaluation. In addition, G39 (Tenera) and G2 (Parthenocarpy) have the highest FOC with 58.62% and 57.68%, respectively, indicating that they might be potential candidates for FOC improvement. These results could be applicable to oil palm breeding programs.

Contributor Notes

This work was supported by the Natural Science Foundation of Hainan Province (No. 20163145) and Central Public-Interest Scientific Institution Basal Research Fund for Chinese Academy of Tropical Agricultural Sciences (No. 17CXTD-13). We are very grateful to the Scientific Observation and Experiment Station of Tropical Oil Crops of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs of the People’s Republic of China for providing oil palm germplasm.

Corresponding author. E-mail: Elaeis@catas.cn.

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Article Figures

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    The fruit forms of collected oil palm. (A) Dura (thick shell). (B) Tenera (thin shell). (C) Parthenocarpy (without embryo and endosperm).

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    Cluster dendrogram of 39 germplasms.

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    Box plot showing the variation of observed traits. FBN = fruit bunch number; AFW = average fruit weight; M/F = mesocarp-to-fruit ratio; K/F = kernel-to-fruit ratio; S/F = shell-to-fruit ratio; AFL = average fruit length; AFWD = average fruit width; AST = average shell thickness; MOC = mesocarp oil content; KOC = kernel oil content; FOC = fruit oil content.

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    Analysis of variance for fruit oil content (FOC) in 39 germplasms.

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