See also related talk Crops, Climate Change and Super-domestication Heslop-Harrison for Oil Palm Breeders symposium on Gearing Oil Palm Breeding and Agronomy for Climate Change: Keynote opening address MPOB PIPOC and PIPOC ISOPB ISOPA
Molecular cytogenetic analysis of the chromosomes of oil palm allows us to understand their evolution, genetics and segregation, genetic recombination and karyotypic stability. The cytogenetic manipulation of genomes and their chromosomes is often valuable for plant breeders to introduce and exploit new variation. Cytological landmarks such as centromeres, telomeres, heterochromatin and nucleolar organizer regions are important for the integration of physical chromosomes with the DNA sequence information. This linkage of the genetic, chromosomal and physical maps is particularly useful in a long-lived tree crop where genetic mapping requires decades of preparation and the mapping crosses may not be directly relevant to DxP commercial plantings. Repetitive DNA is often the most rapidly evolving genomic component, but is poorly understood from sequence assemblies; molecular cytogenetic studies allow its organization and variation to be studied, and the exploitation of repetitive sequences as markers and, by the amplification and mobility of transposable elements or satellite repeats, in generation of new variation.
Molecular cytogenetic approaches provide tools for oil palm genomic research, comparative genomics and evolutionary studies and further facilitate understanding the inheritance of specific traits in oil palm, including DNA methylation, epigenetics, and somaclonal variation, allowing work with hybrids, haploids and polyploids. Knowledge of the structures and organization of the chromosomes of oil palm, as in many crop species, is valuable for development of new lines, making hybrids, understanding the causes of some abnormalities or infertility, and exploiting variation and biodiversity found in related species or breeding lines.
Further information and slides from the talk will be on our website www.molcyt.com.