Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution

, Volume 53, Issue 1, pp 187–195 | Cite as

Assessment of Genetic Diversity in Oil Palm (Elaeis guineensis Jacq.) using Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism (RFLP)

  • Maizura I.
  • N. Rajanaidu
  • A. H. Zakri
  • S. C. Cheah


A total of 359 accessions of oil palm (Elaeis guineensis Jacq.) originating from 11 African countries (Nigeria, Cameroon, Congo DR, Tanzania, Angola, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Ghana, Madagascar and Gambia) were characterized using the RFLP method using the standard Deli dura as the check. Genomic DNA from each sample was digested using five restriction enzymes and hybridized with four oil palm cDNA probes. Data were analyzed using Biosys-1 computer software to calculate the genetic variability parameters. In general, all the collections exhibited higher levels of diversity than the standard variety, Deli dura. The standard variety, Deli dura, lost 36 alleles as compared to the natural populations indicating a reduction in genetic variability. Material from Nigeria showed the highest mean number of alleles per locus (1.9) and percentage of polymorphic loci (67.2%). These findings, combined with others, suggest that Nigeria may be the center of diversity of wild oil palm. It further suggests that oil palm natural populations maybe possessing adequate genetic variability that are potentially useful for improvement programs.


Center of diversity Ex situ conservation Genetic variation Oil palm breeding RFLP 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maizura I.
    • 1
  • N. Rajanaidu
    • 1
  • A. H. Zakri
    • 2
  • S. C. Cheah
    • 1
  1. 1.Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB)Kuala LumpurMalaysia
  2. 2.Institute of Advanced StudyUnited Nation UniversitySibuya-kuJapan

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