Oil palm DNA fingerprinting innovation gets silver accolade

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Dr Mohd Azinuddin presenting to ITEX judge on the innovation developed for the oil palm DNA fingerprinting which involves the multiplex PCR and automation technology at FGV R&D Sdn Bhd.

THE oil palm DNA fingerprinting service offered by FGV R&D Sdn Bhd has won the Silver Award in the International Invention, Innovation and Technology Exhibition (ITEX) held in May 2019.

The DNA fingerprinting services began in 2016 by utilising the Short Sequence Repeat (SSR) region as markers for generating DNA profiling.

Through continuous process improvement, the service is now capable to analyse various oil palm tissues which include cabbages, leaves, pollen, embryo and callus. The reliability and high quality services offered are achieved through synergistic efforts between the genomic unit and the breeding, seed production and tissue culture units.

Previously, there was no mean to verify the progenies or ramets produced in FGV’s breeding programme. The same was experienced for oil palm clone production and seeds production.

Therefore, a programme was initiated to develop a DNA-based marker to identify its background and as quality control measure to ensure the material produced is as claimed.

It is particularly important especially for tissue culture and seeds production units that sell seeds and ramets with special traits.

Since the service was established, various improvements have been made, including more SSR markers, optimisation for various tissue types and utilising multiplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR) approaches to shorten the turn-around time and ensure high quality services being offered.

Currently, FGV DNA fingerprinting service offers 10 SSR markers with turn-around time of two to three weeks and is able to process various tissue types. Besides raw material, FGV also accepts PCR products from the customers for the purpose of fragment analysis service. Thus, various samples can be analysed and not just limited to the oil palm industry.

“This service is also offered to external oil palm producers as QC services for their planting material production or even for research purpose. For further enquiries about this service, please contact Molecular Service Unit of FGV R&D Sdn Bhd at molecular.service@ fgvholdings.com.”

The developed markers are able to differentiate various oil palm backgrounds in FGV’s collection. SSR regions, identified from oil palm genome project, was used to differentiate between inter-individual genetic variation, pedigree profiling, as well as identification of specific cross and genotyping of clonal material.

Genetic profiles such as genetic variability between populations, inbreeding level among the progenies and genetic distance would lead to precise decision-making for FGV breeding programmes.

This service is also offered to external oil palm producers as QC services for their planting material production or even for research purpose. For further enquiries about this service, please contact Molecular Service Unit of FGV R&D Sdn Bhd at molecular.service@fgvholdings.com.

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