Journal of Oil Palm Research Vol. 7 No. 2, December 1995, p. 122-131 MADON, M*; CLYDE, M M**; CHEAH, S C*
Cytological analyses were performed on chromosomes of the oil palm Elaeis guineensis of the tenera fruit phenotype using metaphase chromosome spreads. Root tips were obtained from three to four weeks old seedlings and pretreated with 2mM 8-hydroxyquinoline for 5-6 hours at 18 degrees C to increase the metaphase index. Using a protoplast technique, chromosome spreads free of cell wall and cytoplasmic debris were obtained. Cytological analysis on six metaphase spreads showed that oil palm contains 2n = 32 chromosomes and paired t-tests performed showed no significant difference between homologues for chromosome pairs Nos. 1-5, 7, 8, 10 and 12-16, whereas chromosome pairs Nos. 6, 9 and 11 showed significant differences between members. Significant differences may be caused by varying degrees of chromosome condensation between spreads and slide preparations, and also errors incurred during measurement. Based on length, chromosome pair No. 1 was assigned to group I, Nos. 2-9 were assigned to group II and Nos. 10-16 to group III. Group I consists of the longest chromosome (10.83% of total chromosome length), group II of medium length chromosomes (6.21%-8.42% of total chromosome length) and group III of medium short chromosomes (3.17%-5.37% of total chromosome length).KEYWORDS:
* Palm Oil Research Institute of Malaysia, P.O. Box 10620, 50720 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
** Genetics Department, Faculty of Life Sciences, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, 43600 UKM Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia.