Tissue Culture Propagation of Coconut, Date and Oil Palm

  • Jennet Blake


The three most important commercial palms are all propagated by seed, and despite continuing selection there is considerable variation between seedlings. The date palm has a limited degree of vegetative propagation by offsets, but there is no natural vegetative means for either coconut or oil palm. However, the realisation over fifteen years ago of the potential for clonal propagation encouraged attempts to obtain cultures of the palms. There was little success at first with date palm (Reuveni, Adata and Lilien-Kipnis, 1972), but later clonal plantlets were obtained by several workers, including Reynolds and Murashige (1979) whose work was successfully followed up by Tisserat (1979, 1981). Progress with oil palm was also slow, but two teams of workers, in England (Jones, 1974) and in France (Rabéchault and Martin, 1976), eventually obtained clonal plantlets. The technique has undergone considerable development (Ahée et al., 1981; Pannetier, Arthuis and Lievoux, 1981), and there has been field evaluation of the clones (Corley, Wooi and Wong, 1981). Eeuwens and Blake at Wye College (1981) have also obtained clonal oil palm plantlets (Figure 4.1). The coconut has not been clonally propagated despite more than a decade of research in several parts of the world.


Vegetative Propagation Date Palm Embryogenic Tissue Callus Initiation Culture Propagation 
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© John H. Dodds 1983

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  • Jennet Blake

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