Oil palm (Elaeis guineensis Jacq.), a monocotyledonous plant belonging to the Arecaceae family, is one of the most important oil crops in the world. In Nigeria, oil palm has benefited immensely from conventional breeding efforts resulting in high yields that have been achieved with this breeding material. However, oil palm breeding is slow and time-consuming due to a breeding cycle of about 10 years. In addition, the process of outcrossing leads to high variation in yield components and vegetative traits. Although DNA marker technologies offer great possibilities for plant breeding through marker-assisted selection, there are so far no reports of its application to oil palm breeding in Nigeria. In this study, 32 SSR markers were used for the assessment of marker application in an oil palm breeding population coming from the extensive breeding program at the Nigerian Institute for Oil Palm Research (NIFOR). Seven SSR markers out of the 32 tested (22%) segregated in the progeny 12 (tenera x Deli dura). SSR markers mEgCIR0059, mEgCIR1917, mEgCIR3260, mEgCIR3275, mEgCIR3533 and mEgCIR3557 proved to be fully informative markers following a segregation ratio of 1:1:1:1, while marker mEgCIR0074 segregated in a 1:1 ratio.
Keywords: Oil palm, microsatellite marker, marker-assisted selection, NIFOR
African Journal of Biotechnology, Vol 13(14), 1529-1540