Field performance and molecular evaluation of coconut (Cocos nucifera L.) palms regenerated from somatic embryogenic cultures.

NRC Grant:  15-124

Dr. H.D.D. Bandupriya
Coconut Research Institute
Tissue Culture Division
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Area of Research: Plant Biotechnology



The main objective of the proposed research is to test for the presence of tissue culture derived genetic variation in agronomic traits under field conditions in the clones of coconut palms of a commercially important cultivar regenerated by somatic embryogenesis and compare with the seed grown palms.

The detailed objectives are

1. Determination of the genetic fidelity of micropropagated coconut clones using SSR markers.

2. Analyzing and comparing of fruit nutrient component parameters of micropropagated coconut clones with that of seed germinated palms

3. Analyzing and comparing of physiological parameters of micropropagated coconut clones with that of seed germinated palms

4. Analyzing and comparing of morphological and agronomical parameters of micropropagated coconut clones with that of seed germinated palms


Development of a tissue culture protocol for coconut is vital for increasing the homogeneity of the coconut lands which can be fulfilled by multiplying elite mother palms. Currently, coconut micropropagation is achieved through somatic embryogenesis at a slow rate using several somatic and zygotic explants.

In developing an efficient micropropagation protocol, it is critical to confirm the lack of any abnormalities. So far, very limited or no research on genetic fidelity and field performance of regenerated coconut plants has been done to evaluate the clonal plants for any abnormalities. The aim of the proposed research is to determine field performance and agronomic traits of micropropagated palms compared to the seed grown palms and confirm the genetic integrity of clonal palms. Therefore, the project will be directed towards comparing several morphological, agronomical, physiological and fruit nutrient component parameters and genetic fidelity of palms regenerated from in vitro cultured to palms originating from seeds, after 10 – 12 years of growth in the field. This study will be performed using CRIC65 hybrid, which is the planting material most widely used in Sri Lanka. If the characters checked will not show any abnormalities micropropagation of coconut can be safely employed for the commercial application.