National Research Centre for Oil Palm

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Research Highlights


     Genetic Resource Management

   *   Intensive evaluation of African germplasm resulted in the

        identification of a few remarkably high yielding accessions

        that could play a major role in oil palm crop improvement

        programme in India. Explant samples were collected for

        tissue culture of these valuable palms.

   *   Four dura palms, belonging to Guinea Bissau and Zambia,

        with drought tolerance have been selected and are being

        utilized in development of DxD  and DxP crosses.

   *   Eight promising dura mother palms were selected from

        commercial plantations of Maharastra and Andhra Pradesh and

        11 germplasm were collected from Little Andaman plantations.

        In total, 19 oil palm germplasm accessions were characterized

        and conserved.

   *   Among DxD crosses, highest oil/bunch ratio was recorded in

        dura palm no.49 in 240D x 281D cross (24.5%) followed by

        dura palm no.6(23.9%). Eight palms in 240D x 281D and 14 in

        80D x 281D crossed recorded oil to bunch ratio of more

        than 20%       

   *   In case of DxP crosses, highest per cent oil/bunch ratio was

        recorded in tenera hybrid 53D x 57D ( 25.64 %) closely followed

        by 124D x 57P (25.4 %) which was significantly higher than

        Deli x Nigeria (23.37 %) and Deli x Ghana (17.9 %) hybrids.

   *   Eight DxD hybrids were produced and supplied to Agricultural

        Research Station, Pattukottai, Tamil Nadu. Eleven new oil palm

       hybrids namely DOPR 41 to DOPR 51 were supplied to Agricultural

        Research Station, Vijayarai, Andhra Pradesh of AICRP on Palms

        for evaluation.
   *   Somatic embryogenesis from spear leaf explants of mature

        pisifera was observed for the first time in India.

   *   Seed storage studies indicated that the fresh oil palm seeds

        can be stored at constant room temperature of 230C  for 

        60 days without losing viability and vigour.

   *    A set of chemicals and microorganisms capable of degrading the

        lignin content  of oil palm seed were identified.

  *    Studies on pollen storage indicated that diethyl ether and

        n hexane are effective for storing oil palm pollen for 12

        months and storage life was more or less same at -200C

       and -500C  and hence, -200C  may be preferred on account

        of cost involved.


  Production System Management


    *  Fertigation at monthly intervals has significantly influenced the

        FFB yield and bunches per palm during the third year of

        application of treatments.

    *  Oil palm based cropping systems with heliconia, red ginger, bush

        pepper, guinea grass and cocoa have been standardized

        in adult oil palm plantations.

    *  Diagnosis and Recommendation Integrated System norms and

        optimum leaf nutrient concentration ranges have been developed

        for Karnataka and Goa States for routine diagnostic and

        advisory purposes.

    *  A simple water extraction method was developed for estimation

        of potassium concentration in oil palm leaf.


  Physiology, Biochemistry and Post Harvest Technology


    *  Phenological growth studies in oil palm revealed that the

        duration between unfolding of 70 per cent spear leaf to bunch

        maturity in the hybrids ranged from 447.9 to 485.2 days and

        the duration from anthesis to maturity ranged from 145.8 

        to 153.7 days.

    *  Use of spectroradiometer for oil palm was standardized to

        detect potassium and magnesium deficiencies in oil palm.

    *  Height adjustable hydraulically elevated platform to reach up

        to a height of 5 meters has been designed and developed for

        harvesting FFB from tall palms.

    *  A low cost oil palm ablation tool was designed and developed.


  Crop Protection


   *   Studies on population dynamics of psychids indicated

        that temperature above 450C  was critical for the growth of the

        pest. Studies on life stages of psychids indicated that the

        pest could survive well at 280C temperature and 70 % RH.

  *    Experiment on bioefficacy studies of various new insecticides

        revealed that Chlorantraniliprole gave best control of

        psychids compared to other commonly used insecticides.

  *    Goriphous bunoh, Brachymeria spp. and Dolichogenidea

        metesae  were the major parasitoids of bag worm in oil palm

        causing 39.2 % parasitism.

  *    Natural enemies like Apanteles hyposidrae parasitized the larvae

        of webworm and Brachymeria albotibialis parasitized the pupa

        of webworm during the pest activity.

            Transfer of Technology


  *    Orientation  training  programmes on  "Oil palm cultivation and

        prospects of oil palm industry"  were  organized  at  DOPR to the
        officers of  State  Agriculture / Horticulture Department

        of Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland of North

        East region to motivate them to promote oil palm cultivation

        in the region.

  *    Training programmes on various aspects of oil palm cultivation

        were organized to officers and farmers belonging to Andhra

        Pradesh,Odisha,Karnataka,Maharashtra,Gujarat and Tamil Nadu.

  *    Training programmes on 'Package of practices of oil palm and

        FFB harvesting standards' 'Oil palm production technology' and

       'Oil palm hybrid seed production' were organized to officers and

        other development personnel involved in oil palm sector.

  *    Oil Palm Kisan Mobile Message Services in the form of text

        messages as well as voice messages were sent to oil palm

        growers belonging to Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh,

        Chhattisgarh, Goa, Gujarat, Karnataka, Maharashtra,

        Meghalaya, Mizoram and Nagaland in four languages.




Technology Commercialized


     * Advanced oil palm parent materials (for Hybrid

        Seed Production): Parental oil palm planting material was

        supplied for establishment of three oil palm seed gardens

        in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.       


   * Commercialization of oil palm tissue culture Protocol:


        IIOPR has successfully developed a methodology of oil palm

        tissue culture using explants from mature palms. The technology

        has been commercialized through AgrInnovate India Limited

        and licensed to four companies, viz., M/s Bejo Sheetal

        Bio-science foundation, Jalna, Maharashtra and M/s Vijaya phyto

        Farms Pvt.Ltd, Hyderabad and M/s Sristi Agro Biotech Private

        Limited, Kolkata and M/s Sheel Biotech Ltd., Haryana.


     * Oil Palm Germplasm registration:

        Registration of 52 indigenous oil palm germplasm accessions

        from Pedavegi (IC-0610000 to IC-0610051) and 11 accessions

        from Palode (IC-0599983 to IC-0599993) was completed and

        accession numbers were received from NBPGR, New Delhi.              


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ICAR-Indian Institute of Oil Palm Research

 Pedavegi, West Godavari Dt., Andhra Pradesh. 534 450.