Genetic studies of some morpho-physiological characters associated with yield in oil palm (Elaeis guineensis Jacq.)
AbstractGenetic variability of some morphological characters, growth parameter, yield, and yield components was studied in oil palm (Elaeis guineensis Jacq.) grown in Malaysia from a North Carolina Design II experiment. Data were based on an average of measurements for two years for all characters except yield, data for which were averaged over a period of five years. Differences between progenies were due to general combining ability rather than specific combining ability for most of the characters. Relatively low narrow-sense heritabilities based upon paternal parents were obtained for all characters except frond length and leaf area ratio, for which fairly high estimates were attained. Simple correlation coefficients showed that most of the characters studied were interrelated. Factor analysis was used to elucidate further the relationship among these characters. Frond length appeared to be the best selection criterion to determine the inter-palm competition, and might be used as an indicator to estimate optimum planting density. The results of this study suggested the potential value of both frond length and leaf area ratio in oil palm breeding.