Genetic Relationships between Elite Oil Palms from Nigeria and Selected Breeding and Germplasm Materials from Malaysia via Simple Sequence Repeat (SSR) Markers

M. N. Okoye, C. Bakoumé, M. I. Uguru, R. Singh, C. O. Okwuagwu


Nine SSR markers were used to study the genetic relationships among 26 elite oil palm materials from Nigeria and Malaysia. The Nigerian elite materials comprised 15 Nigerian Institute for Oil Palm Research (NIFOR) oil palm parental genotypes. The 11 Malaysian genotypes included 2 dura and 2 pisifera advanced breeding lines, 3 palms from natural populations of Nigeria, and 2 from each of the Angola, and Madagascar natural oil palm collections maintained at the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB). The results revealed a high percentage of polymorphic loci (83.3%) in the entire materials with average polymorphic information content (PIC) of 0.7325. Two SSR markers showed relatively high PIC namely sMg00016 and sMg00179 (0.8018 and 0.8509, respectively). The mean number of alleles varied from 1.333 in Madagascar germplasm material to 4.889 in NIFOR tenera materials (mean = 2.958). The observed heterozygosity varied from 0.167 in Madagascar material to 0.778 in Nigeria germplasm materials (mean = 0.575) and the expected heterozygosity from 0.153 to 0.643. The various oil palm provenances showed significant genetic differentiation (FST = 0.177, P = 0.001) indicating the existence of a genetic structure among the materials used. UPGMA analysis based on Rogers’ dissimilarity coefficient matrix displayed two main clusters, one separating Madagascar accessions from the rest. PCoA showed that the NIFOR breeding parents clustered closely with MPOB’s Nigeria and Angola-derived materials suggesting a common origin of mainland genotypes. The high genetic diversity observed among the MPOB’s germplasm materials highlights the need for proper characterization of entire NIFOR oil palm germplasm with SSR markers to facilitate effective utilization in the breeding programme.

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Journal of Agricultural Science   ISSN 1916-9752 (Print)   ISSN 1916-9760 (Online)  E-mail:

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