Journal of Oil Palm Research Vol.   p.  


Author(s): VENGETA RAO* and CHANG, K C**

Recent discoveries of five independent but closely related nucleotide mutations that result in the virescens fruit type in oil palm, and their diagnostic markers, have renewed interest to breed for the trait. In virescens palms, the immature fruits are green, ripening to a bright orange, whereas in the common nigrescens palms, the immature fruits are a deep purple, almost black, and ripen to red with purple tinges. Ripe virescens bunches are more easily spotted, especially at distance and through the lower fronds and epiphytes on the trunk, thus having fewer missed in harvesting. Correspondingly, unripe and under-ripe virescens fruit bunches would be apparent, compared to their nigrescens counterparts, during fruit milling. While diagnostic markers will improve the breeding efficiency and save on time and costs, starting with the right virescens palms will ensure that the trait is not gained at the expense of yield.

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Author Information
* Lot 6729, Jalan Batu Satu, 43800 Dengkil, Selangor, Malaysia.

** 111, Jalan 12/14, 46200 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia.

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