Journal of Oil Palm Research Vol. 30  March 2018 p.  26-35
DOI: https://doi.org/10.21894/jopr.2017.0011

BREEDING FOR DROUGHT TOLERANCE IN OIL PALM

Author(s): CORLEY, R H V*; RAO, V**; PALAT, T‡ and PRAIWAN, T‡

As the oil palm industry expands, drought tolerance will become increasingly important. In the breeding programme of Univanich Palm Oil PCL in Southern Thailand, progeny trials are duplicated with and without irrigation. This allows drought tolerance of progenies to be estimated, in terms of the reduction in yield caused by withholding irrigation. Correlations between irrigated and unirrigated progeny mean yields are low, and some pairs of trials show significant progeny x irrigation interactions. Unirrigated yield is highly correlated with drought tolerance, but yield under irrigation tends to be negatively correlated with tolerance. Thus, selection in the absence of drought may produce material that is drought susceptible, and selection should be done under the conditions in which the material will be planted. We have not found a reliable indirect method for identifying drought tolerance, but the use of stomatal conductance as a selection criterion appears worth investigating further.

Keywords: , , , ,

Author Information
* Highlands, New Road, Great Barford, Bedford MK44 3LQ, United Kingdom.
E-mail: herewardc@aol.com

** Lot 6729, Kg Batu Satu, 43800 Dengkil, Selangor, Malaysia.

± Univanich Palm Oil Public Co. Ltd, Krabi, Thailand.


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