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Major qtls for trunk height and correlated agronomic traits provide insights into multiple trait integration in oil palm breeding

Teh, Chee Keng; Ong, Ai Ling; Mayes, Sean; Massawe, Festo; Appleton, David Ross


Chee Keng Teh

Ai Ling Ong

Associate Professor

Festo Massawe

David Ross Appleton


© 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. Superior oil yield is always the top priority of the oil palm industry. Short trunk height (THT) and compactness traits have become increasingly important to improve harvesting efficiency since the industry started to suffer yield losses due to labor shortages. Breeding populations with low THT and short frond length (FL) are actually available, such as Dumpy AVROS pisifera (DAV) and Gunung Melayu dura (GM). However, multiple trait stacking still remains a challenge for oil palm breeding, which usually requires 12–20 years to complete a breeding cycle. In this study, yield and height increment in the GM × GM (GM-3341) and the GM × DAV (GM-DAV-3461) crossing programs were evaluated and palms with good yield and smaller height increment were identified. In the GM-3341 family, non-linear THT growth between THT_2008 (seven years old) and THT_2014 (13 years old) was revealed by a moderate correlation, suggesting that inter-palm competition becomes increasingly important. In total, 19 quantitative trait loci (QTLs) for THT_2008 (8), oil per palm (O/P) (7) and FL (4) were localized on the GM-3341 linkage map, with an average mapping interval of 2.01 cM. Three major QTLs for THT_2008, O/P and FL are co-located on chromosome 11 and reflect the correlation of THT_2008 with O/P and FL. Multiple trait selection for high O/P and low THT (based on the cumulative effects of positive alleles per trait) identified one palm from 100 palms, but with a large starting population of 1000–1500 seedling per cross, this low frequency could be easily compensated for during breeding selection.


Teh, C. K., Ong, A. L., Mayes, S., Massawe, F., & Appleton, D. R. (2020). Major qtls for trunk height and correlated agronomic traits provide insights into multiple trait integration in oil palm breeding. Genes, 11(7), 1-15.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jul 16, 2020
Online Publication Date Jul 21, 2020
Publication Date Jul 1, 2020
Deposit Date Jul 21, 2020
Publicly Available Date Jul 21, 2020
Journal Genes
Electronic ISSN 2073-4425
Publisher MDPI
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 11
Issue 7
Article Number 826
Pages 1-15
Keywords compact palms; marker-assisted selection; Elaeis guineensis; linkage maps; dwarfism
Public URL
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