Category Archives: 2010 Vol 22 Aug

Feature extraction from oil palm in vitro shoot images

The feature extraction techniques are discussed in this article. The algorithms and methods developed are robust and advanced enough to be used in combination with a machine vision algorithm and automation system. The subject under study is oil palm in vitro shoot images. The potential features extracted from the images could be used as a vision sensor to replace human expertise via an automation system. Two main categories of the in vitro shoots could be visually identified, namely the normal and abnormal groups. Image interpretation can categorize the in vitro shoot automatically in its group. The techniques proposed are not influenced by the shape or orientation of the in vitro shoot. The feature vector is plotted to prove the separability of both normal and abnormal in vitro shoots.

Performance of palm-based emulsions in water (ew)-insecticide formulations against insect pests on chilli and brinjal

The performance of palm-based emulsions in water (EW)-insecticide formulations was evaluated in the field against insect pests on chilli and brinjal crops. The insecticides used were deltamethrin and lambda-cyhalothrin. Phytotoxicity symptoms were also evaluated on the treated crops. The untreated plots gave the highest number of damaged fruits in chilli and brinjal when compared to the treated plots. In addition, no phytotoxicity symptom was observed in both the brinjal and chilli crops, meaning that they showed good tolerance to all the treatments. Statistical analyses (using Duncan’s multiple range test at the probability, P, of less than 0.05) of the differences between treatments indicated that the palm EW-pyrethroid insecticide formulations were equally effective or significantly better than the commercial emulsifiable concentrates (EC) formulations at the recommended (10 ml/10 litres) and lower (7.5 ml/10 litres) doses in controlling the pests on chilli and brinjal crops. The residues of the EW-pyrethroid insecticides on the crops were also determined.

Genetic performance of 40 Deli dura x AVROS pisifera full-sib families

A total of 40 oil palm dura x pisifera progenies were planted on inland soil of the Serdang Series in Malaysia. They were evaluated for fresh fruit bunch (FFB), fruit components and agronomic traits. FFB production for the majority of the progenies was reasonably good for inland soil, ranging from 77.99 to 162.37 kg palm-1 yr-1. Analysis of variance showed no significant difference among the progenies, indicating lack of genetic variability for FFB and its components except average bunch weight (ABW). This was further supported by the low genotypic coefficient of variation (GCV), phenotypic coefficient of variation (PCV) and broad-sense heritability (hB 2). However, greater genetic control was observed in the fruit components and agronomic traits. For example, the genetic variation for mesocarp to fruit (M/F) and shell to fruit (S/F) ratios contributed more than 40% to the phenotypic variation of the characters. Among the vegetative traits, leaflet length (LL) and rachis length (RL) exhibited similar magnitude in their GCV to PCV contribution. The lack of variability in some of the characters in these materials may be an obstacle to future breeding and selection. Introgression with new materials from the germplasm collection will likely broaden their genetic base for future breeding and improvement.

Growth effects by arbuscular mycorrhiza fungi on oil palm (Elaeis guineensis Jacq.) seedlings

The effects of arbuscular mycorrhiza fungi (AMF) infection on the growth of oil palm seedlings in nursery trials showed that the seedlings treated with Glomus etunicatum soil inocula resulted in 80.36% increased growth response. Oil palm seedlings treated with G. etunicatum in association with Gigaspora rosea, Acaulospora morrowiae and Scutellaspora heterogama, respectively, gave lower to negative growth responses. Oil palm seedlings that showed growth depression, however, had significantly higher root colonizations than the non- AMF plants. G. etunicatum thrives better as a single inoculant and successfully increases the vegetative growth of oil palm seedlings.

Functional analysis of oil palm palmitoyl-acp thioesterase (fatB) gene via down-regulation in a model plant : Arabidopsis thaliana

Isolation of genes from the oil palm (Elaeis guineensis) has been routinely carried out to genetically alter the fatty acid content of palm oil to produce novel fatty acids and other metabolites. This study evaluated the function of an oil palm palmitoyl-ACP thioesterase (FatB) gene in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. Arabidopsis thaliana was transformed via the ‘floral-dip’ transformation method with either the gusA reporter gene (pCAMBIA 3301), an antisense palmitoyl-ACP thioesterase gene (pCB302-AT2), or the sense palmitoyl-ACP thioesterase gene (pCB302-AT1), together with the bar (Basta-resistant) selectable marker gene. Transformed seeds were selected by growing them on wet compost containing Basta. Bastaresistant plants were subjected to PCR and GUS analyses to prove the integration of the transgenes and their expression. Fatty acid composition of the transgenic seeds were analysed using gas chromatography. It was observed that the amount of palmitic acid (C16:0) in the sense transgenic seeds increased to 11.78 mol% compared to 8.91 mol% in the wild type control plants. Fatty acid analysis of the antisense transgenic seeds revealed that the amount of C16:0 in these lines decreased slightly from 8.91 mol% to 8.13 mol%. The results revealed the expected function of the oil palm palmitoyl-ACP thioesterase gene. Furthermore, this study also demonstrated the ability to test functionality of oil palm genes (from a monocotyledon) in a dicotyledonous plant, Arabidopsis thaliana.

Somatic incompatibility and AFLP analysis of four speciesm of Ganoderma isolated from oil palm

Amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) analysis and somatic incompatibility were used to assess inter- and intra-specific variations among 12 Ganoderma isolates from four different species isolated from oil palm (Elaeis guineensis). Scorable bands (646) were obtained with 10 AFLP primer combination markers. Cluster analysis by the unweighted pair-group method with arithmetic averaging (UPGMA) using genetic distances showed that the isolates were of two main groups. The somatic incompatibility test gave results congruent to AFLP analysis where somatic incompatibility also occurred within the different isolates of the same species which indicated two different genotypes in one species. In general, pathogenic isolates were found to group together in the same cluster. Isolates from the same species were also more closely related to each other. The results indicate that molecular identification provides support to the morphological identification of the isolates studied.