Oil Palm Genome: Strategies and Applications

  • Eng-Ti Leslie LowEmail author
  • Norazah Azizi
  • Mohd Amin Ab Halim
  • Nik Shazana Nik Mohd Sanusi
  • Kuang-Lim Chan
  • Nadzirah Amiruddin
  • Nagappan Jayanthi
  • Meilina Ong-Abdullah
  • Rajinder Singh
  • Ravigadevi Sambanthamurthi
  • Mohamad Arif Abdul Manaf
  • Ahmad Kushairi
Part of the Compendium of Plant Genomes book series (CPG)


Oil palm produces two types of edible oil, namely palm oil and palm kernel oil that are important sources of food and raw materials for industries, such as cosmetics, biofuels, pharmaceutical and oleochemicals. It is harvested all year round and has the highest oil yield per hectare compared to other edible oil crops. Nevertheless, its yields have stagnated for the past three decades and continuous improvements are required to keep up with future demands of the growing world population. The need to improve productivity motivated the research community and the oil palm industry to jointly embrace the latest biotechniques to study and understand the crop. This partnership paved the way for the development of more comprehensive research programmes that resulted in the release of the assembled oil palm genome sequence, identification of genes/markers associated with traits of interest, and development of new tools. The most important successes to date are the identification of two genes linked to important agronomic traits, i.e. shell phenotype and fruit colour, and a gene that causes the abnormal mantled somaclonal variant. These discoveries have since been translated into diagnostic assays that can be used to screen and select planting materials as early as at the seed or nursery stage, allowing planters to only plant palms with the desired traits. This chapter explores the developments leading to the sequencing of the oil palm genome and its subsequent application in the development of new knowledge and tools that will help shape the next generation of planting materials.


Elaeis guineensis E. oleifera Next-generation sequencing Gene prediction Diagnostic assays Molecular markers 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eng-Ti Leslie Low
    • 1
    Email author
  • Norazah Azizi
    • 1
  • Mohd Amin Ab Halim
    • 1
  • Nik Shazana Nik Mohd Sanusi
    • 1
  • Kuang-Lim Chan
    • 1
  • Nadzirah Amiruddin
    • 1
  • Nagappan Jayanthi
    • 1
  • Meilina Ong-Abdullah
    • 1
  • Rajinder Singh
    • 1
  • Ravigadevi Sambanthamurthi
    • 1
  • Mohamad Arif Abdul Manaf
    • 1
  • Ahmad Kushairi
    • 1
  1. 1.Malaysian Palm Oil BoardKajangMalaysia

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